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ExxonMobil deal: Seplat Energy reacts to allegations of impropriety

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Seplat Energy has denied impropriety in the process of securing approval for the acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from American multinational oil firm, ExxonMobil.

In a statement on Wednesday, Seplat Energy said the company’s attention was drawn to allegations of being involved in misconduct to obtain President Muhammadu Buhari’s consent.

Two days ago, Buhari had given the approval, as he doubled as the Minister of Petroleum. However, hours later, the oil industry regulator, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), said the president didn’t have the right to give such approval.

Read also: Foreign investors exit Seplat, amid NNPC lawsuit blocking ExxonMobil acquisition deal

NUPRC said based on the Petroleum Industry Act, only the regulator has the right to give consent. This created confusion, raising eyebrows as to the process by which Seplat Energy obtained approval, considering there was no agreement within the government.

With the $1.28 billion deal at risk, Seplat dismissed claims of impropriety.
“Seplat Energy has become aware of news and social media reports alleging impropriety in the process of securing ministerial consent to the acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

“Such reports are wholly untrue and the Company will pursue legal action against any parties involved in disseminating false information related to its business”, the statement signed by its Chief Financial Officer, Emeka Onwuka, stated.

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