By Sully Manope, in Lagos
Tunde Afolabi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian independent Amni International since inception, has added the company’s board Chairmanship to his portfolio.
Sani Bello, the retired army colonel who had been chairman and E.C. Edozien, the influential professor of economics who was Vice chairman, have retired from the board.
Industry insiders claim that the payout to the two directors was over half a billion dollars. Amni officials declined to comment.
This board/management restructuring, happening in the 21st year of Amni’s existence, is a landmark event in the company’s history.
Amni has been producing crude oil in Nigeria’s prolific south east offshore since 1996. Production from its two fields: Okoro and Ima, grossed about 21,000BOPD on average in December 2013.
Afolabi is a professional Geologist with over 30 years of oil and gas exploration and production experience from international companies. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), a past President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and a council member of the Nigerian Association of Indigenous Production and Exploration Companies (NAIPEC).
Amni was granted Oil Prospecting Licences (OPL) 469 in 1993, the year of its incorporation. The company was awarded the OPL 237 the following year, each for a term of five (5) years by Nigeria’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. By December 1996, the company had commenced production in the Ima field via the services of the technical partner, Liberty Technical Services, a subsidiary company of Abacan Resource Corporation of Canada. 6.27 Million barrels of oil was produced in the first year, with 6.18 Million barrels exported. OPL 469 was converted to Oil Mining Lease (OML) 112 for a term of 25 years in 1998, while OPL 237 was converted to OML 117 in 1999.
“An initiative to bring more accountability to operations in mid 1998 resulted in the dissolution of the partnership between Amni & Abacan”, Amni says in its website. “Amni assumed sole operatorship of the concession. During this period the company faced enormous challenges, mostly financial”.
In 2005, Amni entered into Agreements with TOTAL under which the French major acquired a 40% interest in OMLs 112 and 117. TOTAL relinquished its rights to the crude oil from the current developed reservoirs in Ima Field effective from April 2007. TOTAL subsequently relinquished both its right to participate in and any future right of re-entry into the development of Okoro/ Setu Fields, allowing Amni , in March 2006, to enter into Agreements with Afren Energy Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afren Plc, for the Okoro/Setu (exclusive area) fields development.