By Sully Manope
Nigerian independent, Neconde Energy, averaged 29,1000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) gross production in August 2015. The deliveries were from the Batan and Odidi fields in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42, which the company operates in Nigeria’s western Niger Delta Basin. The output was more than double the June 2015 average of 14,194BOPD. It also topped the July 2015 average (of 24,000BOPD) by more than 20%.
OML 42 is held in joint venture between Neconde (45%) and .the state hydrocarbon firm NPDC (55%), the operating arm of the putative giant NNPC, Africa’s potentially largest government owned oil company.
Neconde took over operatorship of the acreage from NPDC in May 2015, and its production has surged, in percentage terms far higher than its peers: NDWestern, Shoreline and Elcrest, all Nigerian vehicles who, like Neconde purchased 45% belonging to Shell, TOTAL and ENI in 2012 in OMLs 34, 30 and 40 respectively. These other acreages are still being operated by NPDC.
Engineers and geoscientists at NPDC, speaking under conditions of anonymity, vigorously deny claims that the improvement in production has come because of Neconde taking the operatorship from their company, arguing that July and August 2015 were relatively free of vandalism (of export pipelines, which often affect production); but it’s also true that the percentage increase in production has been exceptionally high in the space of three months of operatorship. The Africa Oil+Gas Report compiles monthly data on production of the largest 20 Nigerian independents which are published in its monthly, paid-for editions.
The truth is that let the buys operate the asset and you will see production increase in great fold.
NPDC operated assets (OMLs 34, 30 and 40 respectively) that flow through TFP has remained relatively at same rate but Neconde operated OML-42 that flow through that same TFP has seen production increase (in just few months of operatorship).
The difference is clear; the govt/NNPC should allow the buyers to operate the assets (just like the way SPDC used to do) or run a joint operatorship with the NPDC but not giving NPDC sole operation-ship.