TEMPLARS has advised Sinopec and its Addax subsidiaries in relation to a Transfer, Settlement and Exit Agreement with the national oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

The agreement will facilitate a clean and amicable exit for Sinopec and its subsidiaries from four oil mining leases (OMLs) which were operated by Addax Petroleum under production sharing contracts with NNPC.

The agreement, which was publicly announced at a signing ceremony on 1st November 2022, resolves various contractual issues between the parties arising from the operation of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137. As a result of the agreement, NNPC is expected to assume operatorship of the OMLs and according to plans unveiled by its group chief executive officer at the signing, work towards introducing “much-needed investment and growth on the oil blocks”.

The transaction is the first major transaction to be undertaken by NNPC following the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the transformation of NNPC from a public corporation to a limited company. It also represents a major milestone in NNPC’s stated ambition to quickly scale up its technical operational activities and compete effectively with private sector producers.

The Templars team on this transaction was led by Managing Partner, Oghogho Akpata and Partner & Head of Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions, Chike Obianwu, who were supported by Partner & Head of Disputes Resolution, Adewale Atake S.A.N. and Disputes Partner, Godwin Omoaka S.A.N. FCIArb. Other members of the team included Managing Counsel, Dupe Dabiri, Senior Associate, Stanley U. Nweke-Eze and Associates Victoria Anuri and Kechikamma Omehia

According to Oghogho Akpata, “This exit represents a full circle moment for us at TEMPLARS, giving that in 2009, TEMPLARS advised Sinopec on its entry into Nigeria through its $7.2 billion acquisition of Addax which was at that time the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company in the oil sector. And we are pleased to have once again played a pivotal role in Sinopec’s Nigerian journey.”