• Sunday, July 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Court grants Lekoil injunction against Optimum petroleum over oil license dispute

Court grants Lekoil injunction against Optimum petroleum over oil license dispute

Lekoil Nigeria Limited (LNL), an oil and gas exploration and production company, has been granted an injunction by a Federal High Court in Lagos against Optimum Petroleum Development Limited, her partner, to prevent the company from interfering with its rights and interest in the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 310 asset area.

The injunction will also allow Lekoil to look forward to the conclusion of the license conversion and retention, according to a statement by Lekoil.

In addition, Optimum has 60 percent interest, while Lekoil’s affiliates collectively own a 40 percent participating interest in OPL 310, for which Lekoil has invested over US$250 million to date.

Following its investments, the Company in 2013 announced the Ogo discovery in OPL 310 (offshore Lagos State) with significant resources – the third largest discovery in the world that year.

“Lekoil requested that the court grant an order of interim injunction restraining Optimum Petroleum from taking further steps to expropriate, appropriate, transfer or extinguish Lekoil’s rights and interests in the 40 percent participating interest in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 310,” the statement said.

“Also, Optimum is restrained from making representations before any regulatory authority that the rights of LEKOIL in the 22.86 percent participating interests has reverted to Optimum or any other authority or person.”

Read also: ExxonMobil declares force majeure on Nigerian oil lifting

According to the statement, Lekoil resorted to litigation after numerous efforts to agree with Optimum Petroleum about securing Lekoil’s 40 percent participating interest in OPL 310.

“In 2013, Lekoil acquired a participating interest of 17.14 percent through its affiliate Mayfair Assets and Trust (Mayfair), with Ministerial consent granted in 2017. The Company acquired a further 22.86 percent in 2015 via acquiring the entire issued share capital of Afren Investment Oil and Gas Limited (AIOGL) from the court-appointed Administrator of the insolvent parent Afren,” Lekoil said.

Thereafter, the company sought Ministerial Consent through the then regulator and Operator, with that application for consent remaining pending.

“We are pleased with the decision of the Federal High Court in Lagos to grant the injunction in our favour,” said Lekan Akinyanmi, chief executive officer of Lekoil.

“This is an important step in protecting our rights and interests in the OPL 310 license area, as well as the interests of investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and will allow us to move forward with credible development plans that will benefit the nation.”

The oil company further said it is committed to working with all stakeholders to develop Nigeria’s oil and gas resources responsibly and sustainably.