Its East African foray is turning into cash in the bank for Niger Delta Petroleum Resources NDPR, the Nigerian independent.
And the money is coming from the unlikeliest of places.
“If there was any place elsewhere in Africa where we could access opportunities and quickly develop those opportunities into the same kind of portfolios that we have had in the Niger-Delta, South Sudan was that place”, Layiwola Fatona, Chief Executive of NDPR, told Africa Oil+Gas Report in an exclusive interview.
“We have never regretted going into South Sudan”.
Asked if he wasn’t concerned about crippling security challenges in a country that has been in civil war since 2013, as a result of which its oil and gas production has plummeted, Fatona replies: “We have security challenges in Nigeria and I am here”. Then he says: “Juba (the South Sudanese capital city), is a growing town”.
Fatona contends that South Sudan produces about 160,000BOPD, “the economy is young and there is very low cost of entry. Stability is coming into the country and we have been there for over three to four years.
“For the first time last year, we actually made a little bit of a profit from our engagements there and we are very hopeful that indeed, everything that we have done in Nigeria, growing from a very small producer into a fully integrated entity can be replicated in South Sudan”.
NDPR was in Uganda before South Sudan. Indeed, it won a block in the last bidding round, “but not until we were forced to partner with another entity that we didn’t feel compatible with did we actually opt not to go further in exploring the opportunity in Uganda”.
“We have been looking at Zambia and Mozambique, not necessarily because of any big offshore gas development. We are driven essentially by low cost of entry; we will not be risking any of our shareholders capital in exploration. In other words, anything that we do will have the potential of generating cash flow at the shortest and quickest period of time”.