TONY O. Elumelu’s pan-African investment vehicle, Heirs Holdings, has announced a substantial investment in Seadrill Mobil Units (Nigeria) Limited, an affiliate of Seadrill, one of the world’s leading offshore deepwater drilling companies, Seadrill. Elumelu has been appointed chairman of the Board of Seadrill Mobil Units.
The investment is further evidence of Elumelu’s strategy of increasing African businesses participation across the oil and gas value chain, and complements existing interests in oil and gas production and exploration. Seadrill, the world’s leading offshore driller, is listed on both the New York and Oslo Stock Exchanges, operating the second largest ultra-deepwater fleet and largest premium jackup fleet in the industry with 7,500 staff in 15 countries.
Elumelu said Seadrill is a significant player in the oil and gas space, with a strong track record and one of the most respected names in the industry. The partnership makes strong commercial sense, bringing together a major global player and a leading African participant in the oil and gas industry. Successful development of Nigeria’s deep water oil and gas fields is of strategic importance for our country. “This is an important part of our own approach of creating synergistic added value investment across the energy sector, from extraction to processing and perhaps most importantly for Nigeria, industrial production and power generation,” he said.
According to him, this partnership sets the stage for greater development in the energy sector, driven by local talent and should serve as a model for further, genuine, indigenous participation, creating both economic and social impact.
Svend Anton Maier, director, Seadrill Mobil Units, said the partnership with Heirs Holdings creates the right mix of global technical expertise, backed by operational excellence and sound financial management to the Nigerian market. It positions the company as a local industry leader and a truly indigenous player.
Heirs Holdings makes proprietary investments in strategic sectors throughout Africa. Through affiliates, Tenoil Petroleum & Energy Services and Transcorp Energy – established to lead Transcorp’s focus on the energy sector, Heirs Holdings has already made significant commitments to the oil exploration and production sector, through the acquisition of OPL 281, an onshore oil field with substantial gas reserves, by Transcorp and Tenoil’s development of OPL 2008, which is intended to enter production in 2014.
Working According to Plan
THE federal government on August 28 said it had paid the severance benefits of over 70 percent of the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. The government also announced the commencement of the official registration of all market participants in the power sector that had been licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, said that the Transmission Company of Nigeria had been given the right to operate independently but under the supervision of the ministry of power. He said at a seminar organised by the TCN for the electricity market participants that, “As of today, we have paid off the benefits of at least 70 per cent of the workers. And as we finish the severance payment this week or next week, the next part will be the pension for the workers,” he said.
Early this month, the Federal Government began the payment of the severance packages of the PHCN employees, with the workers in the power generating companies, and promised to settle those of the distribution firms before the end of August. Nebo said the reorganisation of the board of the TCN was in order to ensure transparency in its operations and to allow it to work independently without a hitch.
The minister also said that the payment of the 75 percent balance of the bid prices for the electricity generation and distribution companies by the preferred bidders showed that the federal government was succeeding in its drive to privatise the sector despite criticisms. “There were a lot of criticisms and pessimism as to whether the power road map will work. Many people said the investors would not pay for the generations and the distributions considering the rot in the system, but as of last week, all of the successful bidders have paid up.”
Setback for Olokola LNG Project
CHEVRON Nigeria Limited, operators of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Joint Venture, has officially confirmed its withdrawal from the Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas project. This confirmation has put to rest speculations that the company might pull out of the Olokola LNG project.
Deji Haastrup, general manager, policy, government and public affairs, Chevron Nigeria, said that the withdrawal from the project took effect from July 31, 2013. He cited delays in the final investment decision, FID, for the project, as the basis for Chevron Nigeria’s decision and lamented that efforts over the last eight years to make the project to mature had not resulted in the FID. In view of this, he said, the company took the decision to withdraw from the project based on the review of its investment portfolio.
“The business decision to withdraw from the OKLNG is based on a review of our investment portfolio, the lack of progress on the project and a reprioritisation of resources to focus on growing domestic gas supply. The NNPC was duly informed of Chevron’s decision to withdraw and the divestment process is being managed in accordance with the provisions of the shareholders’ agreement governing the project. Chevron remains fully committed to Nigeria and continues to pursue its investments in the country’s oil and gas industry,” he said.
The OKLNG project company was formed in 2007 by the NNPC, BG, Chevron and Shell. BG and Shell withdrew from the project in June 2012 and July 2013, respectively. The Olokola LNG project is located between Ogun and Ondo states and the plan of the project was for gas producers/owners to send natural gas to the facility, where it would be converted to LNG for a fee and pumped into owner ships for sale.
Dangote’s $9 billion Refinery
THE Dangote Group will on September 4, sign a $5.55 billion loan deals with financiers for the building of a $9bn refinery and petrochemical complex to be located at the Olokola Free Trade Zone, Ondo State. The group said it would borrow $3.3bn for the 400,000 barrels a day refinery expected to double the country’s refining capacity by late 2016.
The conglomerate, with business interests in cement, food processing, oil and gas, also said it was seeking another $2.25bn from development funds for the refinery. When put together, about $5.55bn will be sourced externally from financiers and the group said the loan deals would be signed with the financiers on September 4.
Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group, said he would put down $4bn of his personal fortune to build the refinery, while international financial institutions would raise the balance. “We are not resting on our oars. The complex, including petrochemical and fertiliser plants, could be the single largest contribution to this government’s economic transformation agenda. This will really help not only Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa. There has not been a new refinery for a long time in sub-Saharan Africa. In five years, when our population is over 200 million, we won’t have the infrastructure to receive the amount of fuel we use. It has to be done,” he said.
The 400,000-barrel capacity would double Nigeria’s current refinery strength. Nigeria currently has the capacity to produce some 445,000 barrels per day from four refineries, which operate well below that capacity owing to decades of mismanagement and corruption. The country relies on subsidised imports for 80 percent of its fuel needs.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Sep. 9, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT