Nigeria’s Lekoil Suspends Shares after Qatari Loan Questioned
Exploration and Production Company Lekoil Ltd. suspended trading Monday after representatives of the Qatari Investment Authority questioned the validity of a loan the Nigerian firm announced earlier this year.
Lekoil paid a $600,000 commission to consultant Seawave Invest Ltd. for introducing the company to people “purporting to be the QIA” and arranging a loan facility for the development of the offshore Ogo field near Lagos. “There have been no monies paid to the presumed counterparty,” Lekoil said in a statement Monday.
The company said it was urgently seeking to clarify the situation and had requested that its ordinary shares be suspended from trading on AIM as of 7:37 a.m. London time.
Representatives of Lekoil weren’t immediately able to comment further. Calls and an email to Ghana-based Seawave Invest were unanswered.
The Ogo field is located in the OPL 310 block offshore Nigeria. On Jan. 2, Lekoil announced it had secured $184 million of funding from the QIA to drill and develop the field.