Seplat seeks FG’s clarification on ExxonMobil acquisition deal

Seplat Energy allay fears of its investors over news that President Buhari had withdrawn his approval of allowing it to acquire MPNU from ExxonMobil, three days after consenting to the agreement.

The deal which was initially announced in February this year was set to follow the well-trodden path of other oil and gas deals in Nigeria which have been subject to lengthy delays – and are sometimes not completed at all – due to the highly litigious nature of Nigeria’s business environment.

The proposed acquisition had been subjected to a series of delays by the government on the deal, for which industry analysts said some government officials were not comfortable with the acquisition by a wholly indigenous oil company.

Federal government had turned down the application for ministerial consent necessary to seal the $1.5bn planned deal between Seplat Energy Plc, a major energy company in Nigeria, and US-based ExxonMobil.

However, in a statement on Monday, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, said Buhari made the approval considering the ample benefits of the divestment to the country’s oil sector.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), regulator of Nigeria’s upstream subsector however disagreed with President Muhammadu, insisting that the matter was a regulatory one and nothing had changed after it had earlier notified ExxonMobil the transaction had been declined. 

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