- Seplat has denied knowledge of the cancellation of its deal to acquire the entire share capital of ExxonMobil
- The company said that there is no official notification cancelling the deal, which was approved by President Buhari
- This comes as the regulator, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NURPC, said it has not endorsed the deal
There is no official notification from the Nigerian government regarding the cancellation of its proposed acquisition of the whole share capital of Mobile Producing Nigeria Unlimited, this is according to a statement by Seplat Energy on Thursday, August 11, 2022.
According to the Punch, the firm also sought to understand from appropriate authorities the claims that President Muhammadu Buhari had withdrawn his assent to the deal.
It should be noted that Buhari doubles as the Minister of Petroleum.
Confusion in the Presidency
Seplat has it has become aware of the news report saying that ministerial approval of the firm’s intention to acquire the whole share capital of Mobil has been withdrawn.
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Nairametrics reported that the company said that it has not gotten any official notice of the kind of decision being peddled in the news and is seeking clarification from appropriate authorities.
The news was rife on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, that President Buhari had reversed the sale of ExxonMobil to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) had earlier objected to the $1.3 billion transaction.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, said on Monday, August 9, 2022, that the president has given his consent to the deal.
The Presidency stated that the deal was authorised by Buhari as the Minister of Petroleum Resources to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the country.
Buhari hamstrung by regulator
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NURPC) through its Chief Executive Officer, Gbenga Komolafe said it did not endorse the deal.
The Presidency, in reaction via Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to Buhari, stated that the president has reversed the decision and that the misunderstanding was because the agencies involved had not gotten to a decision and lacked coordination.
The oil company stated that it will continue to work with all parties to achieve a successful result for the proposed deal and give an update in the future.
Why major oil companies are leaving Nigeria as Seplat acquires 100 percent of Mobil
Legit.ng reported that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the 100 per cent acquisition of the whole share capital of Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat energy Offshore Limited. This was disclosed in a tweet by the Presidency.
According to the tweet, Buhari authorised the acquisition in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum and is geared towards attracting foreign direct investment into the country.
The statement also gave directives to Exxon Mobil and Seplat to mitigate all environmental and abandonment liabilities.