$20.5m dispute: Seplat opted for out-of-court settlement with Crestar

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Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has reached and an out-of-court settlement between its subsidiary; Newton Energy Limited and Crestar Natural Resources Limited following a legal dispute over the acquisition of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25.
Seplat also revealed that the under new terms of the settlement, the Escrow Monies will be split as follows: US$10.0 million to Seplat and US$10.5 million to Crestar.
Recall that earlier this year, Seplat had in a press release announced the commencement of legal proceedings at the English High Court against its subsidiary, Newton Energy, by Crestar relating to the deposit of $20.5 million held in an escrow account.
The Escrow money is related to the potential acquisition of an interest in OML 25 by Crestar, which Newton has an option to invest into, and was put into escrow in July 2015 ahead of the planned consummation of the deal.
After Crestar won the bid for the acquisition of OML 25 from Shell and its partners, Crestar had deposited 100 percent of the bid price into an escrow account with JP Morgan in London.
However, after NNPC attempted to block the sale and acquire the interest for itself under a 30-day contractual right of first refusal that had expired months earlier, Crestar commenced injunction proceedings in January 2015 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, to prevent the Shell from affecting the transfer to NNPC.
 
The OML 25 lies 50 kilometers southwest of Port Harcourt in the onshore eastern delta and is part of the NNPC/Shell Joint Venture (JV). The block is located on the coastal mangrove swamp and extends slightly offshore.
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc is a leading independent oil and gas exploration and production company in Nigeria.
In 2010, it became the first indigenous company to acquire and become an operator of onshore oil and gas assets from international oil companies. It was listed on both the London and Nigeria Stock Exchange in 2014.
Crestar Natural Resources Limited owned by James Bay Resources Limited is a Canadian junior oil company with a focus on acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas opportunities in Nigeria.

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