Nigerian oil regulator approves Eni, Equinor assets sale


Nigeria Approves Key Onshore Oil Asset Sales to Oando and Project Odinmim

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ABUJA, July 3 – Nigeria’s upstream oil regulator has approved the sale of two key onshore assets by international oil companies, clearing the way for Oando and newcomer Project Odinmim to acquire these assets, according to Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the agency, on Wednesday.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) sanctioned deals by Eni’s local unit, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), to Oando, and Equinor’s sale to Project Odinmim, Komolafe announced at an energy conference in Abuja, the capital.

The approvals had been delayed for months, pending sign-off from the petroleum minister under a recently enacted oil industry law. Approvals for Exxon Mobil’s $1.3 billion asset sale to Seplat and Shell’s divestment to Renaissance are still pending.

“The signing ceremony will be conducted in the next few days,” Komolafe said.

Eni had previously announced the sale of its NAOC subsidiary to Oando in September. The deal included interests in four onshore oil mining leases (OML) 60, 61, 62, and 63.

However, Ainojie Alex Irune, Oando’s CEO, noted complexities in the deals during the conference. “We had four transactions; two were approved, one on a yellow flag, and the other in abeyance,” he said.

The NUPRC chief did not specify which OMLs were approved for Oando, and Irune did not provide further details.

Oil majors operating in Nigeria have been divesting from their onshore fields, which are plagued by theft, vandalism, and pollution, to focus on deepwater explorations.

In May, the NUPRC offered faster approvals for pending asset sales by the majors if they accepted responsibility for spills and compensated affected communities, rather than waiting for authorities to assign liability, which could further delay deals.

David Okafor
David Okafor
David Okafor Foreign Affairs Editor, Naija247news Media Group David Okafor is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Naija247news Media Group, with over five years of experience in international journalism. He excels in delivering insightful and impactful coverage of global politics and economic trends. Holding a degree in International Relations, David is known for his investigative skills and editorial leadership. His work ensures Naija247news provides accurate and comprehensive analysis of world events, earning him respect in the media industry.

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