London-listed junior ADM Energy has been granted an interim injunction against a Nigerian company in a dispute over the Barracuda oil discovery in the Niger Delta.

In April this year, ADM struck a deal to acquire a material, indirect stake in the 73-million barrel oil discovery, located in Bayelsa State and covered by a risk sharing contract carved out of Emerald Energy Resources-operated oil mining licence 141.

The deal’s structure saw ADM acquire 51% of a company called Karra Oil Noble Hill (KONH) that, via a 70% interest in Nigerian player Noble Hill-Network Limited (NHNL), holds a risk sharing contract covering Barracuda in what is known as North West OML 141.

The Barracuda operator is Emerald Energy.

Last month, KONH was notified by NHNL of a dispute regarding its 70% stake in the company.

As a result, ADM and KONH instigated proceedings against NHNL at the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Lagos.

In a statement, ADM said the court “has been asked, inter alia, to determine KONH’s rights to its 70% interest in NHNL and all other related matters.”

In the meantime, ADM said that on 10 December it obtained an interim injunction “restraining NHNL, its officers, agents, privies or persons, howsoever connected, from selling, disposing, divesting or tampering with the 70% shareholding interest of KONH in NHNL to third-party investors or in any other manner whatsoever.”

Led by chief executive Osamede Okhomina, ADM and its legal advisers “assert that NHNL’s position as proffered is untenable and wholly without merit and are taking all necessary legal steps to protect and secure ADM’s interest in the circumstance.”

Even though the dispute is now sub judice, ADM stated that “it was, and remains, ADM’s and KONH’s preference to seek a resolution with NHNL without the intervention of the courts.”

Continuing, the London-listed player statement said: “ADM and KONH wish to assure its shareholders and other stakeholders, however, that it …will …take all appropriate steps available to it in law to vigorously protect its interests in NHNL and the risk sharing contract in respect of NW OML 141.”

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