LEKOIL (AIM: LEK), the oil and gas exploration, development and production company with a focus on Africa, announces an update on OPL310 (the “Block”) with reference to the Company’s Application for a Declaration regarding Ministerial Consent filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos on March 28, 2018.
Despite progressing exploration and appraisal activities on OPL 310 as previously announced, LEKOIL has, to date, not received Ministerial Consent for its acquisition of the additional 22.86 per cent interest in OPL 310 or a satisfactory explanation as to why such consent has not been forthcoming. As a result, the Company took the decision to apply to the Federal High Court for a declaration that is expected to expedite the consent process, and preserve the unexpired tenure in the licence.
At the proceeding which took place on Thursday November 29, 2018, Hon. Justice B.O. Kuewumi granted Optimum Petroleum Development Company (“Optimum”), LEKOIL’s partner in OPL310, application to be joined as the second defendant in the suit. Furthermore, the court acknowledged the urgency of the matter and ordered accelerated hearing of the case. With the court closing for the holiday on Wednesday, December 12, the hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 2019 shortly after the Court resumes session.
The parties remain in negotiations aimed at seeking a satisfactory conclusion for all parties on the above matter. LEKOIL and Optimum continue commercial discussions regarding the financial and technical obligations of both parties in the block once development work is underway. LEKOIL will provide further updates to the market as appropriate. The Company is represented by Fidelis Oditah QC, SAN.