Exxon Mobil’s Sale of Nigerian Shallow Assets Nearing Close

On 11 October 2023 during the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission CEO Gbenga Komolafe revealed that the sale of ExxonMobil’s assets to Seplat Energy was well on its way and nearing a close. In 2022, the regulatory body approved the sale so that negotiations could proceed.

The deal only involves the Shallow-Water Assets and ExxonMobil shall retain its Deep-Water Assets in Nigeria. Based on released information, the deal involved 40% stake in four oil exploitation licenses which covers 90 Shallow-Water or Onshore platforms as well as 300 producing wells. No impact on employment is expected as the new prospective intends to maintain the operations. The deal is believed to be in the vicinity of USD 1.3 billion subject to the outcome of the negotiations.

“We are very optimistic that parties to the transaction will go back, look at the position of the regulator and come back by abiding by the provisions of Nigerian laws and the right thing will be done,”

Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) CEO Gbenga Komolafe

Asked for comment, Seplat Energy CEO Roger Brown declared that he is “hopeful” that the deal could be concluded by year end. On the other hand, ExxonMobil did not wish to comment immediately. Initially, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) opposed the deal, arguing that it had right of first refusal on oil assets.

Seplat Energy CEO Roger Brown

Nigeria is one of the largest oil exporters in Africa and 90% of its foreign exchange originate from petroleum exports. Half of its National Budget is also financed from revenues derived from hydrocarbons.