The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has raised objections against Oando Plc’s takeover of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s onshore assets in the country.
These assets, specifically Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 60, 61, 62, and 63, were acquired by Oando from Agip, a subsidiary of Eni, allowing the latter to mitigate challenges and simultaneously enabling Oando to bolster its assets in the Niger Delta region.
In an official communication to the directors of Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Oando Oil Limited, NNPCL stated they’ve come across reports regarding Oando Oil Limited’s alleged acquisition of NAOC’s stake in the aforementioned OMLs.
A press release from OOL dated September 4, 2023, claims NAOC has transferred its entire 20% stake in these OMLs to OOL.
NNPCL, while not yet verifying the authenticity of this transaction, pointed out that such a move could entail significant legal repercussions in line with the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) from July 1991, which oversees the operations of the NAOC/NEPL/OOL joint venture.
Ali Muhammed Zarah, the managing director of NNPC EandP Limited, who also shared this information with senior officials in NNPCL and Oando, emphasized that any transfer of interest in the joint asset without prior written approval from NEPL is a severe violation of the JOA terms. This could lead to NEPL nullifying the transfer to OOL.
The letter further highlights NNPCL’s concern, as a 60% stakeholder in the NEPL/NAOC/OOL JV, over the transaction’s execution, which apparently ignored the JOA’s stipulations. They stressed that all involved parties should strictly adhere to the terms set out in the JOA.