• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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NNPC withdraws suits against ExxonMobil on $1.28bn asset divestment to Seplat

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has filed a motion to discontinue its legal action against several subsidiaries of Mobil Nigeria as part of the ongoing effort to finalise a settlement agreement on the divestment of $1.28 billion assets from Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

The application, which was presented by the company’s legal counsel Afe Babalola & Co., on June 11, 2024, requests the court to grant leave for discontinuance and to strike out the suit, with the provision to relist it should the settlement process fail.

“The applicant humbly urges Your Lordship to grant leave to discontinue this suit and consequently strike it off the court’s cause list,” the motion read.

Read also: NNPC, ExxonMobil settle over $1.2bn divestment deal

“Granting this application aligns with the policy of this Honourable Court and facilitates the finalisation of the settlement process.”

This move follows the initial suit filed by the company in July 2022, which was referred to arbitration by the court on August 3, 2022.

Last month, pressure from President Bola Tinubu, following two high-level visits from ExxonMobil’s top shots, cleared the hurdle in the path of the international oil company’s asset sale to indigenous heavyweight, Seplat Energy Plc.

Read also: Here are Exxonmobil operations in Nigeria, after NNPC approved Seplat deal

Signed by Mele Kyari, NNPC CEO, and Shane Harris, MPNU Managing Director, the settlement agreement, stated: “MPNU shareholders will consent to Seplat providing the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement to NNPC to finalize their transaction.
NNPC will withdraw all interim orders and the substantive suit against MPNU and other defendants.

“The parties will jointly discontinue arbitration proceedings upon completion of the transaction. MPNU shareholders and NNPC will align their positions to finalize their respective transactions with Seplat.

Read also: Tinubu ends Seplat-ExxonMobil impasse after high level visits

“NNPC’s legal team highlighted that the discontinuance aligns with Order 24 of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Civil Procedure Rules 2018 and is crucial for the settlement’s completion. The court’s decision on the motion will be pivotal in resolving the longstanding dispute, enabling the parties to focus on finalizing the divestment.”