Analysts See “Exxon Mobil’s $1.28 Billion Asset Sale to Seplat Energy Boost Nigeria’s Lagging Oil Production


Exxon Mobil’s (XOM.N) $1.28 billion asset sale to Seplat Energy (SEPLAT.LG) in Nigeria could soon receive regulatory approval, potentially ending a two-year delay since the deal was first agreed upon. According to Gbenga Komolafe, the chief of Nigeria’s Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), the approval process could be completed in less than two weeks.

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The regulatory approval for the sale, which has been awaited since 2022, is expected to move forward following a meeting scheduled for Friday, where representatives from both Exxon and Seplat will be present. Komolafe indicated that NUPRC would present the companies with two options, which if accepted, would pave the way for approval of the deal.

While specifics of the options were not disclosed, Komolafe mentioned that the law mandates provisions for decommissioning, host community development, and environmental remediation. He emphasized the commission’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria does not incur undue financial burdens from the divesting entities’ operations over time.

Both Exxon and Seplat declined to comment on the matter, while analysts anticipate that approval of the deal could inject much-needed capital into Nigeria’s oil industry, potentially leading to improved oil output. Furthermore, it could signal to investors that similar deals, such as Shell’s asset sale to Renaissance in January, are likely to receive regulatory approval.

Former Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari initially consented to the transaction, but withdrew the consent after the oil regulator declined to sign off. President Bola Tinubu, who assumed office last year, has prioritized attracting investment to stimulate economic growth.

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Godwin Okafor
Godwin Okafor
Godwin Okafor is a veteran Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur, and the visionary Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. With an extensive career spanning over 16 years in financial journalism, Godwin possesses a wealth of experience that seamlessly bridges both traditional and digital media landscapes. His journey in journalism commenced at Business Day, Nigeria, where he laid the foundation for his prolific career. In 2010, Godwin took a bold step by founding Naija247news Media, a platform that has since become a prominent player in delivering timely and accurate news. Educationally, Godwin Okafor holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the prestigious Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. His commitment to continuous learning led him to the Lagos Business School, where he further honed his skills. Additionally, he is recognized as a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania, having successfully completed the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists. Throughout his illustrious career, Godwin has earned acclaim by winning numerous journalism awards, a testament to his dedication to excellence in reporting. Beyond his role as a Financial Journalist, Godwin Okafor wears the hat of the Chairman at Emmerich Resources Limited, the publishing entity behind Naija247news. His visionary leadership has played a pivotal role in shaping the media landscape and establishing Naija247news as a trusted source of information. Godwin Okafor's multifaceted expertise, commitment to journalistic integrity, and leadership in the realm of business journalism underscore his influential presence in both the media and entrepreneurial spheres.

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