Seplat Energy Plc, a Nigerian and London-listed energy business, has expressed persistent interest in acquiring Exxon Mobil Corporation’s oil and gas assets. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Roger Brown, recently delivered a statement expressing their commitment to complete the purchase that has been delayed for over a year.
Seplat Energy Plc is optimistic that Nigeria’s new President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will approach the transaction differently than his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari. The former president authorized the purchase at first but then reversed his judgment.
Brown’s statement emphasizes the company’s resolve to move forward with the transaction and its anticipation of a better outcome under President Tinubu’s leadership.
“We are still interested in the assets,” Brown said. “We still like the company we’re considering purchasing. We believe this is a game-changing operation.
Seplat made a huge deal of up to $1.6 billion in February 2022 to acquire Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from ExxonMobil, a US supermajor. This deal planned to raise Seplat’s production capacity to 146,000 boepd and its proved and probable liquids reserves from 241 million barrels to 650 million barrels.
The MPNU assets contain a 40% operating ownership of 300 producing wells in four oil mining leases (OMLs 67, 68, 70, and 104), as well as accompanying infrastructure, according to Seplat’s acquisition note dated February 25, 2022. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the other hand owns the remaining 60% of the partnership.
MPNU’s assets also include a 51% stake in the Qua Iboe Terminal, ownership of the Bonny River Terminal, Natural Gas Liquids Recovery Plants in EAP and Oso, 409 million barrels of proven and probable liquid reserves (2P), and 211 billion standard cubic feet of proven and probable gas reserves (2P), with an undeveloped gas potential of 2,910 billion standard cubic feet (Bscf).
Following an earlier lawsuit filed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) opposing the purchase, former President Buhari gave Seplat permission to acquire MPNU’s assets on August 8, 2022. However, once the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) objected, President Buhari revoked his prior decision two days later.
NNPCL has objected to the deal and has sued Exxon Mobil, alleging it has the legal authority to purchase the blocks from the US company. However, Roger Brown claims that his company is buying a subsidiary rather than licensing.
Brown believes that the vast majority of the gas would be exported, either as a third-party source for Nigeria LNG Limited which is an expanding venture that is short of feedstock or via a separate floating production facility.