Administrators Alix Partners, which took control of collapsed oil firm Afren when it went bust in 2015, said it had begun “pre-action steps” against Oriental Energy Resources, Afren’s operating partner on the Ebok oilfield off the Nigerian coast. The action relates to “alleged misappropriations of Ebok oil cargoes and certain alleged fraudulent transactions”, The Evening Standard UK reports.
The administrators’ latest progress report said that, if successful, the claims could result in “additional material recoveries” for creditors, who are still waiting to claw back part of the $1.7 billion (£1.4 billion) of debt Afren was saddled with when it went under in 2015 under the weight of huge debts. It could take “at least two years to reach judgment,” it said.
Oriental also refuted the claims, arguing that law firm’s findings were “little more than a collection of suppositions, unsupported innuendoes and a series of false and defamatory statements”. It went on to strip Afren of its stake in the oilfield after alleging it had breached their deal. Afren insists it still has a legal interest in Ebok and is taking Oriental to court in Nigeria to enforce its claim.