Marvin Romanow, Nexen Inc.’s chief executive, has travelled to Yemen to discuss its operations there, just weeks after the previous government chose not to extend the company’s right to produce oil out of a major field.
The Calgary-based company’s joint-venture agreement with Yemen to operate the Masila oil field expires on Dec. 17. Nexen had been hoping for an extension. The property churned out roughly 9.5 per cent of the company’s production, after royalties, in the third quarter. The declining oil field is scheduled to be turned over to PetroMasila, the new state energy company.
Yemen’s new cabinet was sworn in on the weekend, and Nexen is lobbying the new government to overturn the decision, according to overseas news reports. A Nexen spokesman in Calgary, however, would not say whether Mr. Romanow was trying to persuade the new government to renew the contract.
“These are private discussions between us and the government,” Pierre Alvarez, a Nexen spokesman, said, noting the conversations were about the company’s operations in the country. In addition to the Masila field, Nexen also has a smaller asset in Yemen, with a valid contract.
Mr. Romanow met with the new prime minister, finance minister and oil minister, Mr. Alvarez said. The oil minister, Energy Intelligence reported, was trade minister under the previous government and wanted Nexen to stay in the country.