By Etuka Sunday
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, an indigenous oil and gas firm listed on the Lagos and London stock exchanges, remains committed to more asset acquisitions in the exploration and production space, and to organic growth, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Austin Avuru has said.
Avuru, who said this at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) January Technical/Business Meeting on Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments in E&P Business held in Lagos, explained that one of Seplat’s key mandate is to leverage opportunities in the oil and gas industry through acquisition of more oil and gas assets.
This is coming after the company announced the completion of its Eland Oil and Gas Plc’s acquisition deal on December 17, 2019.
Avuru had said then: “We are delighted to successfully complete the acquisition of Eland, which further enhances Seplat’s footprint in Nigeria and provides opportunities for enhanced scale, diversification and growth. We welcome our new colleagues and Nigerian partners as we look forward to working together in this exciting phase of our development.”
Addressing stakeholders at the NAPE meeting, he said Seplat had positioned itself as an early mover through the acquisition of a 45% operated interest in OMLs 4, 38 and 41 from Shell, Total and Agip in 2010; thus, becoming the first Nigerian independent to acquire a package of oil and gas blocks directly from the Major International Oil Companies (IOCs) as part of a disposal process.
Following this landmark deal in 2010, Seplat further grew its portfolio through the acquisition of a 40% interest in the OPL 283 marginal field area from Pillar Oil. In 2015 acquired further interests in OML 53 and OML 55 from Chevron Nigeria Limited.
Seplat grew production at OMLs 4, 38 & 41 from 14,000bopd as at acquisition to a peak rate of over 84,000bopd.
Avuru explained: “The company has demonstrated its ability to work its assets and produce its reserves despite external negative factors such as downtime and losses.
“Seplat also began to invest in its gas business in 2010 in response to the Nigerian Government’s initiatives to improve the debilitating impact of poor power generation and supply in the country by opening the Domestic Supply Obligation pricing to market forces.
“We are strategically positioned to access Nigeria’s main demand centers with current well stock delivering around 300MMscfd (Gross).”
The Guest Speaker at the meeting, Mr. Mascot Ogunjemiyo, who highlighted the various merger and acquisition cases in the Nigerian oil and gas industry so far, said mergers, acquisitions and divestments in the industry were capable of promoting efficiency and further drive growth.