• Monday, July 15, 2024
businessday logo


Timeline: Journey so far of Seplat/Exxonmobil deal

Timeline: Journey so far of Seplat/Exxonmobil deal

The acquisition of ExxonMobil’s entire offshore shallow water business in Nigeria has today recorded a breakthrough as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited signed a settlement agreement with ExxonMobil Nigeria.

The proposed divestment of 100 percent interest in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited worth $1.28 billion deal was first announced in February 2022 and has been entangled in regulatory hurdles for over two years.

Read also: ExxonMobil shrinks offices in Nigeria as it scales back operations

Here’s the timeline of the Seplat/Exxonmobil deal

February 2022 – Seplat announced that it had bought the entire offshore shallow water business of ExxonMobil in Nigeria at a cost of $1.2 billion.

The company said it agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from Exxon Mobil Corporation.

May 2022 – The federal government, through the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) declined its consent to the proposed acquisition of oil and gas assets belonging to the MPNU by Seplat Energy.

The government, among others, cited overriding national interest as one of the reasons for rejecting the deal.

July 2022 – Seplat reported that NNPC had secured a court injunction preventing ExxonMobil from selling its assets in Nigeria.

“Seplat Energy PLC recently became aware that, on 5 July 2022, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (“NNPC”) commenced an action at the State High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, Nigeria (“State High Court”) in relation to the acquisition of the entire shares of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (“MPNU”),” the statement read.

August 2022 – former President Muhammed Buhari approved the acquisition of the shares of ExxonMobil’s Nigerian unit by Seplat Energy. Buhari consented to the acquisition of the asset.

Read also: Tinubu pushes for resolution of $1.28bn Seplat/Exxonmobil deal

May 2023 – Amid the delay in securing approval, Seplat extended the share sale and purchase agreement (SSPA) with ExxonMobil for the acquisition of its stake in MPNU in May 2023. On May 17, Seplat indicated progress in acquiring MPNU assets, and a week later, the company extended the SSPA again.

May 2024 – The NUPRC said on May 2 that ExxonMobil’s sale of its Nigerian petroleum assets to Seplat Energy would be approved within less than two weeks.

“Subject to the outcome of the meeting (with Seplat and Exxonmobil), consent…could be given in less than two weeks from the date of the meeting,” Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive of the NUPRC said.

May 2024 – President Bola Tinubu directed the Ministry of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) and the NNPC Limited to resolve the delayed $1.28 billion Seplat Energy and ExxonMobil deal.