Nigeria’s Lekoil Suspends Shares after Qatari Loan Questioned

Nigeria’s Lekoil Suspends Shares after Qatari Loan Questioned

Agency Report

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.

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