Mutiu Sunmonu, the just retired country chair of Shell companies in Nigeria, has been appointed Executive Consultant for the Pan Ocean group, reporting to the board. Mr. Sunmonu was introduced to the staff in the course of the week of March 30, 2015. He is not working full time for the company, but he will devote considerable time.
Newcross E&P, a subsidiary of Pan Ocean Group, purchased Shell Nigeria’s stake in Oil Mining Leases (OML) 24 in the eastern Niger Delta in 2014. Newcross paid $900 Million for Shell’s 30%, TOTAL’s 10% and ENI (Agip)’s 5% combined in the lease and was designated operator of the asset. OML 24 produced 24,000BOPD on average in February 2015.
Pan Ocean, currently unfolding a new corporate structure, decided to take advantage of Sunmonu’s retirement and “hire” him on a part time basis as the company embarks on an aggressive course of crude oil production increase. A new holding company will hold controlling shares in Newcross Petroleum Limited (operator of OPLs 283/A and 283/C) and Newcross Exploration & Production Limited (operator of OML 24).
Newcross Petroleum Limited has new discoveries in OPL 283/C and is working to convert the licence to an OML. Pan Ocean operates the 9,000BOPD OML 98 in the North Central Niger Delta basin. It is also developing the Obi Anyima field in OPL 274, for which it is processing an Oil Mining Licence.
As Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, and chair of all of Shell Companies in the country, Sunmonu superintended four rounds of sale of Shell operated onshore assets, and one sale of Shell operated shallow water assets, including OMLs 4, 38 & 41 to Seplat (2010), OML 26 to First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (2011) and OMLs 30, 34 & 42 to Shoreline Resources, NDWestern and Neconde respectively (2012), OMLs 18, 24& 29 to Eroton, Newcross and Aiteo respectively (2014). The sale of OMLs 71&72 went in favour of First E&P (2014).
The jury is out as to whether Mr. Sunmonu should have taken a job in a company to which he supervised the sale of Shell asset, so soon after he retired.