LEKOIL (AIM: LEK), the oil and gas exploration, development and production company with a focus on Africa, provides an update on OPL310 with reference to the Company’s Application for a Declaration regarding Ministerial Consent filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos on March 26, 2018.
Further to LEKOIL’s announcement on 25 January 2019, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, on 7 February 2019 heard the matters presented before it. The Court is expected to deliver its ruling on 28 March 2019.
Due to the impending expiration of the OPL 310 licence, LEKOIL applied to the Court to hold in abeyance or suspend the unexpired term of OPL 310 pending the delivery of the Court’s ruling. The Court granted LEKOIL’s application which effectively means that the license will not expire before the judgement of the Court is given on 28 March 2019.
LEKOIL had previously requested that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources grant an extension of the license beyond February 2019 in order to recover over three years lost due to regulatory delays beyond the Company’s control. The Company understands that the Department for Petroleum Resources has made its recommendation for an extension to the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources and is currently awaiting a response to the recommendation for a potential extension from the President.
LEKOIL continues to make progress with partner Optimum towards resolving the remaining issues regarding this matter in the interest of moving forward and beginning appraisal activities on OPL310. The Company will provide further updates as appropriate. The Company is represented by Fidelis Oditah QC, SAN.