ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, and Equinor ASA have said they will withdraw their lawsuits of about $3 billion, against the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.
According to court letters, dated August 22, seen by Bloomberg yesterday, the oil majors told two New York federal judges that they had agreed to settle with NNPC.It added that the IOCs also agreed to terminate ongoing litigation once the new arrangements take effect.
The move comes 10 days after NNPC renewed oil production sharing contracts (PSCs) with the oil majors — after nearly three decades.
The national oil firm also resolved lingering disputes with the PSCs contractors.
According to Bloomberg, lawyers representing Equinor and Chevron asked the judge to suspend the case until the end of October “to allow sufficient time for the conditions to be satisfied and for the settlement agreement to become effective”.
The companies said once that is done, they “expect to withdraw this action”.
On their part, Exxon and Shell, in a separate letter, said they expect to withdraw the litigation after 60 days.
In 2017, Equinor and Chevron filed a suit in the US, asking a court to enforce a $1.1 billion award issued by an arbitration tribunal against NNPC in 2015.
Shell and Exxon initiated similar proceedings in New York in 2014 over a $1.8 billion arbitration award.
Both penalties followed allegations by the oil majors that the NNPC took crude beyond its entitlement under 1993 PSC contracts, designed to incentivise the companies to develop deep offshore blocks.