Chevron has been barred from selling its assets until a legal dispute with local firm Brittania-U is resolved, Brittania-U’s lawyers said after the court hearing.
The federal high court in Lagos issued an injunction prohibiting the company from selling its onshore assets till a lasting verdict is reached for the lingering dispute between both companies.
The Indigenous oil prospecting company, Brittania-U, alleges it had a deal with the U.S. oil major to buy the assets, which Chevron denies.
Brittania-U is suing Chevron for breach of bid arrangement.
“The court upheld the interim order in favour of Brittania to protect the assets while the substantive case is still being determined,” lawyer Rickey Tarfa said.
“The judge said that the order needs to be in place until the case is decided. The order restrains Chevron from transferring the asset or doing anything with the assets.”
The Nigerian firm, run by former Chevron executive, Catherine Uju Ifejika, was the highest bidder at over $1 billion for the biggest cluster of blocks – OML 52, 53 and 55 – and Chevron began discussions with the company over the sale.
Chevron decided to look at alternative bids after Brittania-U failed to prove it could muster the sum promptly, banking and oil industry sources said.
Among the challenges being heard are whether or not the court even has jurisdiction in the case.
Although Chevron was said to have openly acknowledged Brittania-U as having submitted the highest bid based on the process information memorandum which stated that Chevron will sell the blocs as a composite bid or collective to the highest single bidder and not on individual bloc basis, the oil major is alleged to be now claiming differently.