The head of Nigeria’s oil regulator expressed optimism regarding the approval of Exxon Mobil’s $1.28 billion asset sale to Seplat Energy, which was previously denied by the regulator.
This sale is considered crucial for attracting much-needed investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. The chief executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Gbenga Komolafe, highlighted that adherence to Nigerian laws and agreements with joint-venture partners would be essential for the transaction to proceed.
Seplat Energy’s CEO also conveyed hope for the deal’s conclusion this year, emphasizing the importance of maintaining positive relationships with the regulator and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which has opposed the sale.
Nigeria, a major oil exporter, relies significantly on petroleum for its foreign exchange and budget, but production has dwindled due to underinvestment and theft. This situation has led various international oil majors to face legal and regulatory challenges when attempting to sell onshore assets in the country.