American oil major, ExxonMobil has declared force majeure on oil lifting from several ports in Nigeria.
This follows reported industrial action by the company’s in-house workers union, the company said, in a statement yesterday. LEADERSHIP reports that this will lead to another set back to the country which is a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and had lost its status as Africa’s top oil producer last year when businesses such as Shell Plc and TotalEnergies began to reduce their investment due to extensive corruption and security concerns.
ExxonMobil has been trying to sell $1.2 billion in shallow-water assets in challenging Nigeria, the company told Reuters in February, while keeping deep-water assets further from the coast. Spokesperson, Michelle Gray in a statement on Monday said that the company was exploring ways of resolving the issues with its workers. “We will continue to take all reasonable actions necessary to resolve the impasse as soon as possible,” Gray said on Monday.
In 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari reversed his earlier authorization of Seplat Energy Plc’s $1.28-billion purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp. assets and backed the energy regulator’s decision to reject the deal. Hours after Buhari approved Seplat’s acquisition of Exxon’s shallow-water business on August 8, 2022 the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, contradicted the decision , who also serves as oil minister.
Chief Executive Officer, Gbenga Komolafe, said in a statement that its previous rejection of the proposed transaction remained in place. Exxon began oil operations in Nigeria in the 1950s and, alongside Shell, was responsible for the creation of the oil industry that has become the bedrock of the Nigerian economy.