Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s Nigerian unit is awaiting an arbitration ruling to end its dispute with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. over “entitlements to lift crude oil” from the Erha offshore field.
“We can confirm that the arbitration hearing ended in Abuja on March 2,” Nigel Cookey-Gam, an Exxon spokesman in Nigeria, said today in an e-mailed statement. The “parties are currently awaiting an award by the tribunal.”
Exxon, the world’s biggest company, sought arbitration in 2009 after talks with the Nigerian government and the state oil company, known as NNPC, had “been unsuccessful,” the statement said. There’s no specific date yet for the ruling, said Cookey- Gam. Levi Ajuonuma, a NNPC spokesman, declined to comment.
The Erha field, located about 97 kilometers (60 miles) offshore Nigeria, started production in 2006 and has the capacity to pump about 190,000 barrels of crude a day. Exxon Mobil, operator of the field, holds a 56.25 percent interest and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co., a local unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), holds 43.75 percent.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. imports of the fuel. Shell, Exxon, Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA run joint ventures with state-owned NNPC, which pumps about 90 percent of the country’s crude.