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Boosting Local Empowerment in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector

As international oil companies move out of Nigeria, or into deeper water to avoid disruption to onshore assets, new opportunities for local players are emerging. Nigerian oil and gas company Seplat made the headlines this year when it announced that it had bought the offshore shallow water business of ExxonMobil in the country for $1.2bn. Although the deal to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited still needs ministerial consent and regulatory approvals, it appears set to go ahead. Seplat anticipates that the transaction will create one of the largest independent energy companies on both the Nigerian and London stock exchanges, on which it is listed. Seplat is among those said to be in the running for a chunk of Shell’s onshore assets alongside other indigenous players such as Sahara Energy, Heirs Oil and Gas Ltd and ND Western. the deal has been delayed by a court ruling that has ordered Shell and joint venture partner NNPC to pay the Ejalawa community in Rivers State $2bn and clean up damage from oil spills before it can be concluded.