A Nigerian oil company controlled by high profile entrepreneur Prince Arthur Eze has lashed out at a statement issued by Vaalco Energy that called into question its participation in an oil prone asset offshore Equatorial Guinea.

Vaalco operates Block P and announced earlier this week that the Bata-based government had sanctioned its $310 million Venus oil project in the acreage, but Atlas Petroleum, a long-time partner in the asset, would not be involved.

The New York and London-listed player said “Atlas Petroleum International Limited opted not to participate in the plan of development” which was approved on 16 September.