Lekoil Nigeria Limited, has been granted an injunction by a Federal High Court in Lagos against its partner in the Oil Prospecting Lease, OPL 310 asset, Optimum Petroleum Development Limited.
Optimum has 60 per cent interest while Lekoil’s affiliates collectively own 40 per cent participating interest in OPL 310 for which Lekoil has invested over US$250 million to date.
Following its investments, the Company in 2013 announced the Ogo discovery in OPL 310 (offshore Lagos State) with significant resources – the third largest discovery in the world that year.
Lekoil requested that the court grant an order of interim injunction restraining Optimum Petroleum from taking further steps to expropriate, appropriate, transfer or extinguish Lekoil’s rights and interests in the 40 per cent participating interest in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 310 and that Optimum is restrained from making representations before any regulatory authority that the rights of LEKOIL in the 22.86 per cent participating interests has reverted to Optimum or any other authority or person.
Lekoil said it resorted to litigation after numerous efforts at reaching an agreement with Optimum Petroleum with regard to securing Lekoil’s 40 per cent participating interest in OPL 310
In 2013 Lekoil acquired a participating interest of 17.14 per cent through its affiliate Mayfair Assets and Trust (Mayfair) with Ministerial consent granted in 2017.
The Company acquired a further 22.86 per cent in 2015 via its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Afren Investment Oil and Gas Limited (AIOGL) from the court appointed Administrator of the insolvent parent Afren.
Thereafter, the company sought Ministerial Consent through the then regulator and also the Operator with that application for consent remaining pending.
The injunction granted by the Federal High Court in Lagos will prevent Optimum Petroleum from interfering with Lekoil’s rights and interests in the OPL 310 license area and will allow Lekoil to look forward to the conclusion of the license conversion and retention.
Lekan Akinyanmi, CEO of Lekoil, said: “We are pleased with the decision of the Federal High Court in Lagos to grant the injunction in our favour. This is an important step in protecting our rights and interests in the OPL 310 license area, as well as the interests of investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and will allow us to move forward with credible development plans that will benefit the nation.”
Lekoil is committed to working with all stakeholders to develop Nigeria’s oil and gas resources in a responsible and sustainable manner.”