Forte Oil PLC was incorporated on December 11, 1964 as British Petroleum Nigeria Limited. After 14 years in operation, the company changed its status from a private limited liability company to a public liability company. In 1977, 40% of the company’s shares were sold to Nigerians in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1977. A year later 60% was acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria in favour of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In November 1979 the name British Petroleum was changed to African Petroleum PLC. NNPC’s stake in AP was reduced by 20% in March 1989 after the Federal Government sold the above percentage to Nigerian Citizens, increasing their stake from 40% to 60%. In the year 2000, the Federal Government under its privatization programme divested its remaining 40% to core investors and interested Nigerians.

In May 2007, the shareholding structure took another dimension as Incorporated Trustees of NNPC’s Pension Fund divested its stake to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, making it the majority shareholder in the company. As a result, Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited and its affiliated entities became the core investor in the company.

Under the new management, African Petroleum embarked on a rebranding and restructuring drive which led to a name change to Forte Oil PLC in December, 2010