President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, consented to the acquisition of the shares of ExxonMobil’s Nigerian unit by Seplat Energy.
ExxonMobil had 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.
Below is the timeline of developments
February 25, 2022
Seplat Energy Plc announced the purchase of the entire shares in ExxonMobil Nigerian unit, which covers assets in the shallow water and onshore assets areas of the Niger Delta at the cost of $1.2 billion.
The transaction agreement also includes additional contingent consideration of up to $300 million in total, payable from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2026.
February 28, 2022
Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), said International Oil Companies that divest from Nigeria’s upstream sector must address issues of abandonment and decommissioning of oil assets, the first public statement about the deal that signalled NNPC’s opposition to the deal.
March 3, 2022
The NNPC informed the MPNU that it would exercise the right of first refusal over the $1.2bn oilfield asset sale to Seplat.
March 7, 2022
Seplat Energy refuted media reports that the NNPC has exercised a right of pre-emption under the NNPC/Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited Joint Operating Agreement.
Seplat clarified that the Sale and Purchase Agreement, announced on February 25, 2022, deals with the acquisition of the entire share capital of MPNU’s shareholders, Mobil Development Nigeria Inc. and Mobil Exploration Nigeria Inc., being entities of Exxon Mobil Corporation registered in Delaware. MPNU is not a party to the deal and continues to hold its interests, rights and obligations under the NNPC/MPNU JOA.
March 19, 2022
The federal government turned down the application for ministerial consent necessary to seal the $1.2 billion deal. According to the CEO of Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, the government cited overriding national interest, failure to follow due process and inappropriate application as their reasons.
July 11, 2022
NNPC secured a court injunction from an Abuja high court restraining the sale of shares of ExxonMobil Nigerian unit to any third parties.
August 8, 2022
President Buhari approved the acquisition of the shares of ExxonMobil’s Nigerian unit by Seplat Energy.