By Emmanuel Nduka
Seplat Energy has entered into a contract with a Nigerian unit of Exxon Mobil, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), with a view to procuring the latter’s entire oil assets in Africa’s biggest crude producer for up to $1.6bn.
The transaction will be completed once both parties wrap up a series of approvals with regulators, including one having to do with a “ministerial consent,” Seplat said in a notification to the Nigerian Exchange on Thursday morning.
“The Transaction encompasses the acquisition of the entire offshore shallow water business of ExxonMobil in Nigeria, which is an established, high-quality operation with a highly skilled local operating team and a track record of safe operations, producing 95 kboepd (W.I.) in 2020,” Seplat said in a statement.
Exxon Mobil, a member of the league of the world’s seven public energy companies commonly called Big Oil in industry parlance, runs another local subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited but has been intent on divesting its stake in a joint venture operated with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.
It holds 40 per cent in the partnership through MPNU and NNPC the remainder.
Seplat, which has been the subject of the takeover talks since last year, also has its eyes set on Shell’s estimated $4 billion stake in another joint venture involving NNPC, and could be in a pole position to beat competitors like Sahara Group and Tony Elumelu-backed Heirs Holdings.