By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Engr Gbenga Komolafe, has insisted that the decision to decline assent to the transfer of ExxonMobil shares to Seplat Energy Offshore Limited remained.
Engr. Komolafe, in an exclusive telephone interview with Vanguard, said: “the Commission as the Upstream Regulator under the Petroleum Industry Act is fully vested with the powers to deal with such issues and the Commission has communicated its position to ExxonMobil months ago.
“It’s purely a regulatory issue. There hasn’t been a change and the status quo remains and the Commission operates purely in line with the provisions of the PIA,” he added.
President Buhari had authorised the acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
A tweet by the Presidency on Monday, titled ‘President Buhari consents to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares by Seplat Energy Offshore Ltd,’ announced the consent.
According to the Presidency, Buhari authorised the move as Minister of Petroleum to attract foreign direct investment.
Also, he directed that Exxon Mobil and Seplat mitigate all environmental and abandonment liabilities.
“The President, in commitment to investment drive in light of the Petroleum Industry Act, granted consent to the Share Sales Agreement, as requested by the parties to the transaction, and directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.”