It’s no longer news that the Independent E&P companies have largely left frontier exploration in Africa for the majors.
But we must rejig our confidence in the ability of this species to own the future of the continent’s hydrocarbon industry.
However low the margin is, however high the cost of acquisition and however dire the above ground risks are, the Independents are making the case that assets divested by the majors are theirs to inherit.
A significant seismic shift took place in Angola recently, where Sonangol, the once mighty, former monopoly state hydrocarbon firm (who once played the role of its country’s regulator and commercial entity combined), declared that a bunch of small and, in cases, newly minted minnows, including Afentra, Sirius, Somoil, Sequa and Petrolog, had won the bids to acquire several of its stakes in Blocks 3/05, 15/06, 18, and 31, all producing licences.
The big story of 2022 has however remained Seplat Energy’s announcement about penning an agreement to acquire ExxonMobil’s subsidiary holding the company’s shallow water assets off Nigeria. The invoice is $.1.28Billion.
And while that story was sucking all the oxygen in the room, there was a tiny part of it most of us didn’t notice: the reserved bidder in the chase for those assets, running close behind Seplat Energy, is a consortium consisting of a brand-new Nigerian junior named Chappal and the well-known UK listed Capricorn, (Cairn Energy), the finder of Senegal’s first commercial sized oil field, which was also in the news recently as co-acquirer of most of Shell’s producing assets in Egypt.
Welcome to the INDEPENDENTS’ DAY ANNUAL 2022.
The Africa Oil+Gas Report is the primer of the hydrocarbon industry on the continent. It is the market leader in local contextualizing of global developments and policy issues and is the go-to medium for international corporations, local entrepreneurs, technical enterprises or financing institutions, for useful analyses of Africa’s oil and gas industry. It has been published by the Festac News Press Limited since November 2001, and since the COVID 19 season, as a monthly digital (pdf) publication, delivered to subscribers around the world. Its website remains www.africaoilgasreport.com and the contact email address is email@example.com. Contact telephone numbers in our West African regional headquarters in Lagos are +2347062420127, +2348036525979, +2348023902519