Loan fraud: Lekoil defers oil drilling payment

Lekoil has announced that it reached an agreement with Optimum Petroleum Development Company, the operator of the OPL 310 Licence, on deferring its financial and operational obligations due between February 2020 and July 2020.

Lekoil was required to pay a portion of Optimum’s sunk costs and consent fees (previously estimated at $10m), as well as provide evidence of its ability to fund 42.86 per cent of the costs and expenses for the drilling of the first appraisal well during February 2020 (estimated at a further $28m).

The company’s plans were disrupted after it discovered that the $184m loan agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority was fraudulent

London Stock Exchange on Monday suspended trading in the shares of Lekoil.

Lekoil shares were previously suspended on Monday last week after an official with the QIA Investment Authority approached it to query the validity of the loan.

The company had reported that it secured a $184m loan for the appraisal drilling and development programme of the OPL 310.

It said as a condition for the provision of the facility, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lekan Akinyanmi, would pledge his full holding of 39,138,601 ordinary shares in the company as part of the security package for the facility.

Source: Punchng, January 22, 2020