Regulator rejects Buhari’s approval of Seplat/ExxonMobil acquisition deal

The Upstream regulator, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of Seplat’s purchase of ExxonMobil’s asset.

A statement repudiating the ministerial approval exercised by President Buhari, came a few hours after presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, had announced in a statement that President Buhari had approved the sale of ExxonMobil asset to Seplat Energy, an indigenous oil company.

NUPRC in a statement signed by its chief executive, Gbenga Komolafe, contradicted the earlier statement by the Presidency announcing President Buhari’s approval of Seplat Energy’s acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from Exxon Mobil Corporation.

The Commission said on Monday night that the matter was a regulatory one and nothing had changed after it had earlier notified ExxonMobil the transaction had been declined.

“The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) affirms that status quo remains in respect of ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.

Responding to media enquiries on latest development about the said transaction, the Chief Executive of the NUPRC clarified that the Commission in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is the sole regulator in dealing with such matters in the Nigerian upstream sector.

“As it were, the issue at stake is purely a regulatory matter and the Commission had earlier communicated the decline of Ministerial assent to ExxonMobil in this regard. As such the Commission further affirms that the status quo remains,” Komolafe stated.

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