The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has insisted that indigenous oil firm Seplat Energy cannot acquire the assets of Exxonmobil in Nigeria despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the sale to go through.
In a statement issued on Monday, the commission said that in line with the Petroleum Act, it was the sole regulator in such matters and that ministerial consent had been declined for the sale and that the status quo remained intact.
The statement appears to countermand a statement issued earlier by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, in which Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources had given ministerial consent to the sale.
However, the sale in question appeared to be shares of Mobil Producing Nigeria and ExxonMobil Nigeria operations, which is the beneficial owner of the assets in question.
Below is the full statement:
STATUS-QUO REMAINS ON SHARE SALE BY EXXONMOBIL TO SEPLAT ENERGY – NUPRC
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) affirms that status quo remains in respect of ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.
Responding to media enquiries on latest development about the transaction, the Chief Executive of the NUPRC Engr. Gbenga Komolafe clarified that the Commission in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is the sole regulator in dealing with such matters in the Nigerian upstream sector.
As it were, the issue at stake is purely a regulatory matter and the Commission had earlier communicated the decline of Ministerial assent to ExxonMobil in this regard. As such the Commission further affirms that the status quo remains.
The Commission is committed to ensuring predictable and conducive regulatory environment at all times in the Nigerian upstream sector.
Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, FNSE