LAGOS, Aug 6 – The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, China’s CNOOC Ltd and South Atlantic Petroleum signed a preliminary agreement to resolve a dispute over Oil Mining Lease 130, the West African state oil firm said on Thursday.
NNPC said on its official Twitter account that it signed a Heads of Terms (a non-binding broad outline of a deal) with the Chinese and Nigerian firms that seeks to address disagreements over the mining lease’s production sharing contract.
The deal is “a major milestone toward the resolution of all disputes,” with energy companies operating in Nigeria, NNPC said without providing details. Mele Kyari, the group managing director, said a year ago that a resolution was in the works.
Nigeria also has differences with oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, Eni SpA and Chevron Corp. on the quantity of crude exported from their fields, claiming five years ago that the companies either failed to declare or under-declared more than 57 million barrels of oil exports. The producers, who pump about 80% of Nigeria’s oil output, always denied the charge.
The disputes are currently before a federal high court in the commercial capital, Lagos, where the state oil company is seeking at least $12.7 billion in payments.