THISDAY gathered from a source privy to a meeting which they held in Paris, France, at the weekend, that the shareholders expressed concern over what they called the protracted exit of ConocoPhillips from the project “as well as the current attitude of their licensing group.”
The source said Brass LNG’s exiting shareholder, ConocoPhillips, which was present around the venue of the meeting, was brought later into the meeting during the deliberations.
The shareholders, it was learnt, also insisted that “there are steps to be taken urgently to protect the interest of investors, LNG buyers as well as ensure maximum benefits to Nigerians and the government.”
The meeting had in attendance, the Chairman of Total Nigeria Limited, Mr. Jacques De Marraud; Chairman of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC/ENI), Mr. Roberto Casulla; Chairman of Brass LNG Limited, Dr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, and the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Yakubu Andrew.
It was also gathered that after a review of all that had been done, the shareholders commended the management and board of the company and reaffirmed their commitment to the project, believing that there should be no going back on it.
The shareholders, it was further learnt, insisted that “more work needs to be done between them and the government to ensure early delivery.”
In this regard, the source added that the shareholders recommended that “there are steps that need to be taken urgently to protect the investors, the contractors who will build the facilities and a guaranteed supply to the LNG Buyers.”
The shareholders were also said to have set up study groups on the project and tasked them to “report back on two sensitive issues to enable them further deliberate and decide on steps to be taken at their next meeting scheduled for Nigeria before this year runs out.”
At its ninth Annual General Meeting in July in Abuja, Gaius-Obaseki had recommended a continuous engagement between the shareholders and the government to untie the knot of the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the project.
“I remain optimistic that our shareholders and ever-supportive government will rise to this challenge. Engagement and quick decision making is highly recommended,” he had said.
Following the exit of ConocoPhillips, the three remaining shareholders in the project, the NNPC, with an equity stake of 49 per cent; Eni with 17 per cent stake and Total also with 17 per cent shareholding, have all risen to the challenge to cushion the shock and would now go ahead to sort out other conditions precedent to an early FID.
Information from This Day was used in this report.