South Korea’s KEPCO exits oil exploration project offshore Nigeria

May 28, 2016 | Company Operations, Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria | – South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has decided to pull out of a Nigerian oil exploration and development project  which has been jointly led by KEPCO and Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and has been challenged for seven years due to a lawsuit, reports a local newspaper the Leadership.

According to KEPCO on May 22, the board members of the KEPCO closed down its Nigerian affiliate, Dolphin Property Limited, which was established to manage oil exploration and development projects in the deep water blocks, OPL 323 and OPL 321 located in the Gulf of Guinea. The offshore block exploration project in Nigeria, which was participated in by a Korean consortium, consisting of KEPCO, KNOC, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in 2005 has been stalled for seven years since 2009. It is still unclear whether the consortium will be able to retrieve any of its investments.

In particular, the lawsuit against the Nigerian government – which on its own part has insisted on the confiscation of the project owing to purported flaws in the contract with the consortium – is currently pending and the project has been dragging on. The KEPCO therefore decided to liquidate its local subsidiary because it believes that the project will continue to be stalled. The future of KEPCO’s other project, a 2,250 megawatts power plant in Nigeria is also uncertain due to these events. The KEPCO however said that it will continue with the power plant construction project unlike the oil exploration and development project.