By Macson Obojemuinmoin
The Nigerian independent, SAPETRO, lost the bid for the purchase of some equity in deepwater Block 32, off Angola, at the last minute.
The prize went instead to Somoil, Angola’s largest homegrown E&P company.
Galp Energia, a Portuguese independent, announced it had agreed to sell its 9% of Block 14. 4.5% of Block 14K and 5% of Block 32 (to Somoil for $830Million, net of taxes on estimated capital gains, including c.$655Million to be received until the conclusion of the operation and c.$175Million of contingent payments in 2024 and 2025, dependent on the price of Brent.
SAPETRO, a company owned by the retired Nigerian army general Theophilus Danjuma, was in keen contest to purchase Galp’s 5% of Block 32.
And that was part of the problem.
Galp was on a mission to sell all its assets in the southwest African country-at once- and Somoil was willing to discuss.
Then again, Somoil is a favoured buyer of Angolan upstream assets. It has consistently been a preferred bidder in the several asset sales conducted in its home country in the last three years.
One of the three largest Nigerian owned producers of hydrocarbons, SAPETRO has always wanted to diversify its portfolio and become more of a Pan African company. But it hasn’t been lucky. It threw money at Afren in 2014, just about when the company was heading to bankruptcy. It attempted to revamp the Seme field off Benin Republic and left after it had pumped millions of dollars down the hole. SAPETRO also took position in the Mozambique channel off Madagascar and left without a drop of oil to show for its effort.