The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has defined investors who can take over divested assets of International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
The national oil firm noted that only investors with technical, financial and operational capabilities would be allowed to take over divested assets of IOCs.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, made the disclosure at the 2021 edition of the Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) organised by Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), held in Lagos with the theme: “The Future of Energy: A Trilogy of Climate Change, Public Health & Global Oil Market”.
He said: “We have seen a whole wave of divestments by major IOCs operating in our country. NNPC as their major partner cannot stop partners from divesting their interests. We can’t do this because we all have the right to migrate our portfolios depending on the circumstances.
“The divestments create challenges for us in ensuring that we get the right and competent investors to take the position and add value to the industry. We have engaged all our partners to ensure that while they have the right of divestments, that there should be no situation where this will become a waterloo of our industry.
“Therefore, NNPC will ensure Nigeria’s strategic national interest is safeguarded by developing a comprehensive divestment policy that will provide clear guidelines and criteria for divestment of partner’s interest.”
Kyari explained that the NNPC would make clear distinctions between divestment of shares and operatorship agreements under various joint operating agreements, adding that it will also leverage its rights of pre-emption as well as evaluate the operational competency and track records of new partners.
He noted that attention would be paid to abandonment and relinquishment costs; severance of operator staff; third party contract liabilities; competency of the buyer; post-purchase technical, operational, and financial capabilities.