Sirius has now fulfilled all conditions needed to access the funding facility for the planned redevelopment of the Abura field in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 65, and will assume key senior management positions within CMES–OMS Petroleum Development Company (COPDC) Limited, the organization which “owns” the project.
Sirius holds 30% in COPDC, who in turn has a Finance and Technical Sales Agreement (FTSA) with NNPC Ltd, the licenceholder of OML 65. But Sirius is the one bringing the finances, as well as technical and managerial expertise, to the project.
With these credentials, Sirius takes fuller control of OML 65 redevelopment, with its executives assuming the positions of Managing Director, Finance Director, Executive Director, and Vice-Chairman of COPDC “and will immediately begin to accumulate cash flow entitlements related to the assumption of operational responsibility for existing production at the Abura field”.
Following the approvals previously secured from NNPC regarding the commencement of Phase 1 of the OML65 Approved Work Programme (AWP), Sirius can now start drawing down funds under the senior loan facility of up to $200Million, executed with (the commodity trader) Trafigura, to finance the well drilling, re-entry and completion in OML 65, notably the Abura field, to boost production by as high as 11,000Barrels of Oil Per Day, to reach, around 16,000BOPD.
The project has come a long way, even though it is yet to take off.
The context: In 2019, COPDC, the Nigerian E&P company founded by Hosa Okunbor, who was very well connected to President Muhammadu Buhari, secured an FTSA with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an NNPC subsidiary which holds the right to OML 65, located onshore mid-western Nigeria, in the Niger Delta basin. COPDC had never operated an E&P asset before it was granted the FTSA, a deal it clinched largely as a result of political connections of its principal.
Sirius Petroleum, as of then, was desperate to get in on the action on any bankable hydrocarbon project. The OML 65 revamp, as it were, has provided it the first real opportunity for relevance.
Phase 1 of the AWP will be undertaken in conjunction with Baker Hughes under a Master Services Agreement (“MSA”) which has been executed with Sirius, and will involve the drilling of up to nine wells on the Abura field, intended to produce the remaining 2P reserves of 16.2 MMbbl1.