All posts tagged featured

Chukwueke Exits Transcorp, To Manage OML 13 For SEEPCO/NPDC

Tony Chukwueke has given notice of his exit from Transnational Corporation of Nigeria and Tenoil, both of which are controlled by Tony Elumelu, a very visible Nigerian businessman.
Chukwueke has accepted the appointment, by Sterling Energy and Exploration Production Limited (SEEPCO) as the company’s Project Manager for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 13, located onshore Eastern Niger Delta.
OML 13 is held by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), who contracted technical services on the lease to Sterling Exploration, the aggressive Indian company. NPDC will fund the operations and Sterling will do the work.
Mr. Chukwueke comes to the job with a wide ranging experience. A 1977 Bachelor of Science graduate in Physics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he moved to the very top of Shell Nigeria’s widely respected Seismic acquisition unit of the Exploration department that he was officially titled the company’s “Corporate Geophysicist”, a very unusual title in the industry. He left Shell, after a stint in the UK covering the Middle East, to become technical assistant of the Minister of State for Petroleum, from which he became the Director of Petroleum Resources (2005 -2009).
Chukwueke joined Elumelu’s Tenoil Petroleum and Energy Resources and Heirs Holdings in 2011, and has been energy director of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria since October 2011, right from the same office (Elumelu controls the three companies).
Until has decision to exit, he had been in charge of the group’s strategy to emerge as one of the biggest indigenous oil and gas sector players, The primary job was to develop the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 281 but the brief had since included Transcorp’s acquisition of Shell/TOTAL/ENI’s 45% equity in OMLs 11 and 17 for $1.2Bllion. Neither the development of OPL 281, nor the acquisition of OMLs 11/17, are anywhere close to realisation.



SellyFak Targets a Large Piece of the $400Million Local Fabrication Sector

By Akpelu Paul Kelechi

SellyFak Energy, the Nigerian oilfield engineering Service Company, is angling for a significant share of the fabrication, corrosion and control segment of the Nigerian oil and gas industry
“That sector is worth $400Million”, says Stanley Fagbule, the company’s CEO. “And these are conservative estimates”.
Of this volume, it would seem that only about 30% goes to truly Nigerian indigenous companies, Fagbule indicates.
“Let me just clarify one thing,” he tells the Africa Oil+Gas Report, “a SAIPEM, a Daewoo and others will still tell you that they are fully Nigerian companies. But for the “truly” Nigerian companies, I think what they are getting out of that is less than 30% of the whole volume. The biggest indigenous company that is doing fabrication work for the International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria that I could say right now is Aveon Offshore.”
SellyFak plans to own at least 20% of the market share in the near term. “The company is about twenty years old and over the years, we have been fortunate to do most of the work that we do in the area of corrosion control. We have a base in Port Harcourt that can take care of fabrication works and I would say 80% of the jobs that we do is in corrosion control while 20% is in fabrication but we are trying to balance that that mix for the areas we have capability for. I don’t know how it happens because we have competence for both corrosion control and fabrication but we found We are very active for about six months in a year because coating is done during the dry season. For the other six months, during the raining season, we are not that active but we still need to keep the company running year in year out.”


TOTAL Moves Fayemi From Uganda

By  Sully Manope, East Africa Correspondent

Adewale Fayemi has left the position of Managing Director of TOTAL Exploration &Production in Uganda, for the equivalent position for the same company in South Africa.

In his new job he will be overseeing frontier exploration, a contrast to oilfield development work he was doing in Uganda.

This was, in any case, what he was doing before the Ugandan assignment: as Managing Director of TOTAL E&P in Cote d’Ivoire.

Fayemi has been replaced by Pierre Jessua, who until now, was the Managing Director of TOTAL E&P in Congo.

Fayemi spent 30 months in Uganda at the most crucial period of getting the $20Billion Albertine Basin development closer to financial sanction. On his watch, the French major influenced the decision to move the crude export pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Lamu, in Kenya to Hoima in Uganda to Tanja in Tanzania. TOTAL also acquired 11% of the upstream stake in the project from Tullow and effectively became the key driver, with 44% equity. With his transfer to South Africa, he would not be the man on ground when the Final Investment Decision is taken, very likely before the end of 2018.

It is on Jessua’s lap that this huge assignment lands.





FID Slips For Africa’s Big Four Oil Projects

By Toyin Akinosho

Two weeks to the end of 1st Half 2018 and the much advertised Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) have failed to materialise for four big African oilfield projects.

The $20Billion Ugandan Albert Basin project, (200,0000BOPD at peak), which was the most certain of the four to take FID, still has a number of conditions precedent to reach the financing close. Yet this was the project that was reported as likely to get the nod in the last quarter of 2017.

The sanction may happen in 2018, but we now know that project commissioning date will slip beyond 2020. CNOOC, the Chinese behemoth with 44% stake in the upstream development, said last week that start-up was unlikely before 2021. This project has been on the drawing board for nine years.

Two greenfield deepwater oil projects offshore Nigeria, Bonga South West Aparo (BSWAP) and Zabazaba, collectively billed for over $25Billion, look nowhere close to getting sanctioned anytime in the year.

It is now certain that an FID in 2018 cannot not work for the SNE field, offshore Senegal, located in 1,100metre Water Depth in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep Blocks.

Full details of Financial Sanctions for large sized Projects in Africa are available in this link, as well as in the June 2018 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report.


Ibigwe Refinery Construction Awarded to V-LEM

A partnership between Waltersmith Petroman and the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring
Board (NCDMB), has awarded a turnkey EPC contract for the construction of a 5,000BOPD capacity
crude oil to a consortium named V-LEM.

The contract is worth $48.5Million.

The refinery, to be located on the Ibigwe field in the eastern Niger Delta, will process crude oil into
diesel, naptha, kerosene and Fuel Oil.

The equity part of the financing comes from Waltersmith, a Nigerian E&P company which operates
the 6,000BOPD Ibigwe field, and NCDMB, the Nigerian state parastatal overseeing progress and
delivery of local content milestones in the industry, which is investing in the project.

The debt financing comes from Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a development finance institution.
V-LEM consists of two companies: VFuels and Lambert.

VFuels will construct the Inside Battery Limits (ISBL), which is the refining process chambers of the
facility, while Lambert will construct the Outside Battery Limits (OSBL), the civil works of the
refinery. The construction is expected to take 18 months.

Okon Will Take Over From Avuru in 2020

Effiong Okon, the newly appointed Executive Operations Director of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, is the likely successor to Austin Avuru, the company’s founding Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Avuru, 59, has served as Seplat’s CEO for seven years, and is likely to be stepping down from the role at the end of the decade.

Okon, a 1991 Petroleum Engineering graduate of the University of Benin, has over 26 years of experience in the E&P sector of the hydrocarbon value chain, and has “undertaken a breadth of senior technical and leadership roles with Shell during that time, both in Nigeria and internationally”, Seplat says in a release.  “He has proven expertise in successfully developing and operating upstream oil and integrated gas projects in Africa, Europe and the Middle East regions”, the company notes in the statement.  “During his time at Shell he was General Manager for Deepwater Production for Shell Nigeria, winning best asset in Shell’s global portfolio in 2016 for his work on the large scale offshore Bonga field.  In addition, he was deputy VP for the upstream gas supply to the Qatar GTL and LNG mega projects”.

Seplat had been searching for a successor to Avuru for a while. One strong consideration was Addax Nigeria’s Technical Director, Chikezie Nwosu, who passed over the job.

Avuru is a widely regarded oil and gas industry leader on the continent. He led the company into takeover, from Shell, of operatorship of Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 4, 38 and 41 in 2011. On his watch, Seplat quadrupled production of crude oil in those assets from less than 20,000BOPD to close to 70,000BOPD (today). In the event, these OMLS are the coompany’s base business assets. Avuru led Seplat to listing on the main board of the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He built a natural gas monetisation machine currently delivering over 350MMscf/d, from the 150MMscf/d the company took over from Shell, and acquired operatorship stake in OMLs 53 and partnership in OML 55 and Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 283. He has over two years to engage Okon in the hand over process.

Angola Drops One More Rig

By Toyin Akinosho

Angola’s rig activity has shrivelled even more, with Seadrill’s West Eclipse, which was drilling
for ExxonMobil on Block 15, completing its two year contract in June 2018 and leaving the

The number of rigs active in the country will thus drop to four rigs, drilling in the same
number of locations.

ExxonMobil is still an active driller though, working with two Deutag rigs.
TOTAL, the French major, is also active with the drill bit.

Angolan and Nigerian rig activity have been on a headlong crash since 2015. But while
Nigeria is on the rebound, Angola seems headed for the floor.

For updates on rig activity in both Nigeria and Angola as well as vessel count in Nigeria’s
offshore acreages, please click here.

Wentworth Reports Security Challenges Around Moza Discovery

The Norwegian explorer Wentworth Resources, has reported “above ground security situation in and around the Macimboa da Praia and Palma regions”, onshore Mozambique. The area is adjacent to the Tembo block on which Wentworth made a gas discovery well, Tembo-1, in December 2014.

The company says that the situation “remains challenging” and has “prevented safe access to the area for Wentworth staff and contractors”.  Wentworth says it “continues to monitor the challenge closely”.

The report was primarily about a one year extension granted on the Tembo licence by the Instituto Nacional de Petroleo (“INP”), the country’s petroleum industry regulator. That extension takes effect from 16 June 2018 “and enables Wentworth, along with its partner Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), to continue to progress pre-drilling activities in the Tembo block”.

But part of the reason for requesting for extension was because security issues had made it difficult for an optimum work programme to be delivered in a timeous fashion. Last April three women and three children escaped from a hideout of the armed groups that have attacked villages in the area, located in the northern part of Cabo Delgado province. They were taken in by the police. There have been infrequent attacks in the Macimboa da Praia district since October 2017, when two gangs of men attacked three police stations. At least two police officers and four other elements of the security forces were killed, as well as an unknown number of attackers.

Jude Egbokwu: From Oil Company Telecoms To Diversified Multi-Integrator

Jude Egbokwu was trying to progress his career as IT Telecoms Engineer at Chevron, the American oil giant, when he enrolled for a masters’ degree course in IT at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

“While at Chevron, I’d nursed the thought of being on my own. My eighteen-month study leave at Loughborough University was an eye-opener. It showed me where the direction of technology was heading”.

Upon return from his study-leave, he knew he was on his way out. His intention was to stay for a year or two planning his exit, but that was not to be as some incidents hasten decisions.

“There was a Chevron policy stating that once you undertake a study-leave, there’s no guaranteed resumption to your former position. By then, I’d worked a decade as a telecoms engineer looking after operations in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Onne and providing support as far as Angola”, he recalls.

Upon resumption he was displaced from the organogram, demoted from working on corporate projects to an analyst working on a small project like Onne. “My newly acquired knowledge of Information Technology, understanding programs and codes presented me the ability to marry both IT and telecoms. It makes you more robust in an environment like that. I could still have been of use in Chevron, for reasons best known to my superiors, I was cubby-holed. It precipitated my early departure and that’s how I started UnoTelos”.

UnoTelos is a systems Integrator Company specializing in integrating different parts of telecoms technology-hardware, software, professional services together into a new or existing network be it add-ons or Greenfield, was registered in 2004. Actual operations began fully in 2005.

“Our first job was a N20,000 (around $1,500 at the time) cabling contract done in 2005. Funding was very difficult to access. Companies are wary of awarding big jobs to novice companies for lack of track record. UnoTelos at the time didn’t have the capacity to get those projects done. Projects I could handle as a project engineer in my former employ, got no sanctions as a sole entrepreneur approaching banks or big companies. So mundane works sub-contracted by a third-party were what was on offer, I simply took on those jobs.  There’s an element of luck in business.  My previous relationship with the Chairman of Arik Air earned us our very first break. Most of the telecoms work executed around infrastructure of Arik Air, cabling of their offices, branch offices, airport, and supplies of IT consumables was done by UnoTelos. That gave us the leverage to execute other projects.

“Working with MTN in 2009, we became the first indigenous company to deploy a network-based security solution across all bearers i.e. SMS, Web, Email and across all access technology from Wimax, 2G, 3G presently 4G, ADSL. Our technology was there to provide the security around it. The second break propelling us further. Eight years on, we’re still working with MTN”.

UnoTelos started with three individuals. Egbokwu himself as MD, H.R Manager, Safety Manager doing a whole lot, an Admin person and a young engineer named Mayowa Adekoya who joined the company in 2005 fresh out of Igbinedion University. “He has been with us since then growing in status as a network engineer. At present we’re fourteen staff members working out of the three operational bases in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. We have shelf offices in Kenya and Liberia and recently added an offshore support office in USA.

“We’re a technology company, we don’t undertake projects outside of our purview. We do our due diligence well.  Victoria Crown Plaza Hotel presented the most rewarding case by testing out a new technology at the time-IPTV. Though it came with its own issues, we deployed it successfully. It’s still working till date”.

Winning the 2015 ICT Integrator Award in 2015 was a testament to UnoTelos Limited adherence to meritocracy, Egbokwu says, adding that the company has a continuing pile of work orders that it generates yearly revenue of about ₦1Billion naira (about $3Million).

Business Challenges

“Infrastructure deficit is a major problem in Nigeria. The mobile operators shouldn’t be in the business of generating electricity nor providing their own security to start with. That drives up their operating costs. That’s why we’re paying so much for mobile services in Nigeria. Electricity majorly is the biggest problem for infrastructure. Next is Right-Of-Way to lay fibre-optic cables is also a big problem in Nigeria. Multiple taxation another bedevilment. Lack or inadequate access to foreign exchange also a problem as most of the hardware and software deployed are paid for in foreign currencies.

“For our future plans we’ve incubated three start-ups. Cenica which deals with social media analytics. MineGuard deals with mobile apps and device business. We have a special device we’re working on. The third start-up is Adzinga Media. It is our digital media that does video streaming amongst other streaming technologies. We’re also invested heavily in farming. We diversify a lot. I see myself as a serial investor. I do a bit of real estate as well.

We’re beginning to buy and retrofit buildings. An upcoming project is a boutique hotel and offices where we’ll deploy our technology services, sort of like a test site. We’re seeking to become an enterprise provider. We’re going into areas where we can do Revenue sharing (rev-share) with mobile operators by installing our cloud services, and our own content distribution network. All fully owned by UnoTelos.

The investment we’re doing now is going in that direction. Around the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space, we’re looking at working with Ingram Maku of who we’re a certified partner. Ingram Maku is one of the biggest cloud services technology provider in the world. They belong to a federation (that’s what they’re called) we’re looking to introduce our own indigenous content distribution network. Our goal is to have this content where it can consumed outside this country. Those are the areas we’re looking at. We also have our own drone for contour and aerial mapping”.

Jude Egbokwu is happily married to Abimbola with five children. He likes to travel, collect art and plants on his many forays.









Egypt Installs Five Million Prepaid Meters In Three Years

By Mohammed Jetutu, in Cairo

And there are more than 60 Million LED lamps in the market, Minister discloses
Mohammed Shaker, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewables, says his ministry has almost five million prepaid meters in the last three years. “Our network we have approximately fifty three million meters and under construction now we have two hundred and fifty thousand smart meters”, he told an audience made principally of members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo.

Egypt runs the largest gasfired electricity market on the continent, with 90% of the 35,000MW installed capacity made of gas fuelled turbines.

Shaker expressed the government’s ambition to turn the many prepaid meters to smart meters. “The smart meter is more modern than the prepaid”, the minister, himself a Professor of Electrical Engineering, told his audience. “It can give you information which can help you to control your consumption from electricity and you can regulate what you are doing. Another one million smart meters is under construction from a Japanese company”.

Mr. Shaker said the government has also distributed 11.3Million L.E.D lamps through the Ministry of Electricity. “It is the efficient lightning which is most important”, he explained “In the market, in my estimation, we have approximately more than sixty million L.E.D lamps”.

© 2018 Festac News Press Ltd..