The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has affirmed that the status quo remains in respect of ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.
Responding to media enquiries on the latest development about the transaction, NUPRC Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe clarified that, in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the commission is the sole regulator in dealing with such matters in the Nigerian upstream sector.
Komolafe’s statement further reads: “As it were, the issue at stake is purely a regulatory matter and the commission had earlier communicated the decline of Ministerial assent to ExxonMobil in this regard. As such the commission further affirms that the status quo remains.
“The Commission is committed to ensuring predictable and conducive regulatory environment at all times in the Nigerian upstream sector”.
Komolafe’s statement that from the Presidency which earlier announced President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of Seplat Energy’s acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from Exxon Mobil Corporation. Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina had issued a statement President Buhari had approved the sale to Seplat, an indigenous oil company.
According to Adesina’s statement, the President approved the transfer in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources. He said the approval was in consonance with Nigeria’s drive for Foreign Direct Investment in the energy sector and considering the “extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian Energy sector and the larger economy”. cfrde4sw3
Exxon Mobil entered into a landmark Sale and Purchase Agreement with Seplat Energy to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mobil Development Nigeria Inc, and Mobil Exploration Nigeria Inc. earlier this year.
The transaction suffered a setback after the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC Ltd) asserted a right of first refusal on the deal. As a joint venture partner, NNPC argued it retained the right to be allowed to buy oil blocks sold by ExxonMobil ahead of any competitor or private firm.
In July, Seplat Energy said that NNPC Ltd won a court decision to block its quest to purchase the entire oil assets of (MPNU), a local unit of oil major ExxonMobil.