San Leon, the independent oil and gas production, development and exploration company focused on Nigeria, notes the statement published in Nigeria on 6 March 2023 about the operation of the Oil Mining License (OML) 18 ("OML 18").
The Company has been made aware of a statement on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd ("NNPC") website that indicates that the non-operating partners of OML 18, NNPC and OML 18 Energy Limited have removed Eroton Exploration & Production Company Limited ("Eroton") as operator of OML 18 on the basis of, amongst other things, zero production from the field at present.
San Leon has contacted Eroton who has advised the Company that this purported takeover of operatorship was done without any legal or contractual basis and, furthermore, that Eroton considers that the action is without any legal effect, through both a lack of due process and a breach of the rule of law. Eroton is currently taking advice on its legal rights to address the matter expeditiously and considers that it remains the operator of OML 18.
Furthermore, as previously announced, the lack of production from OML 18 alluded to in the press has been primarily due to the unavailability of Nembe Creek Trunk Line in the last two years and not to production issues suffered by Eroton. This is an industrywide problem due to widespread and well known crude oil theft and sabotage of pipelines in the Niger Delta.
San Leon currently holds an initial 10.58% indirect economic interest in OML 18 which is unaffected by the identity of the operator. Further announcements will be made as and when appropriate.