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In a dramatic twist, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Limited has cancelled Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited $1.6bn oilfield asset sale to Seplat Energy Offshore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Seplat Energy Plc. According to a letter signed by the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari and addressed to Exxonmobil, NNPC reiterated its resolve to take over Exxonmobil share of the assets. “We are aware that you reached an agreement to divest from onshore and shallow waters JVs,” the NNPC stated “clearly that we are interested.”This announcement was coming barely one week after Seplat announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (“MPNU”) from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Delaware for the operations of its onshore and shallow water assets for $1.2billion. NNPC’s decision effectively means that the Sales Agreement between Seplat and ExxonMobil may have to be reviewed. According to industry observers, the NNPC which is the major shareholder in the Joint Ventures with ExxonMobil, may have exercised its right of first refusal on the assets as part of a new era which will focus solely on building the long-term profitability of the NNPC Ltd.

The Sun