All posts tagged africa-petroleum


Shell Sells OML 17 To Elumelu… Less than Half of What He Wanted

By Toyin Akinosho

Tony Elumelu wanted badly to purchase Shell &Co’s stakes in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 11 and 17.

Last Friday, January 15, 2021, Shell announced it had completed the sale of Shell &Co (meaning Shell, TOTAL and ENI)’s 45% interest in OML 17 to TNOG Oil and Gas Limited, a company controlled by the tycoon.

But the UK-Dutch major didn’t mention OML 11, whose operation it is no longer in control of.

TNOG, “a related company of Heirs Holdings Limited and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp)”, had paid $453Million at completion, with the balance to be paid over an agreed period”, Shell said in the release. The balance is $80Milion.

$533Million appears to be a lot of money to be paid for OML 17 at this point in time, considering how the deal has travelled. The acreage, located north of Port Harcourt, the commercial hub of the Niger Delta region, contains such iconic Shell operated fields as Agbada, Obigbo, Obigbo North, as well as Otamini and Umuchem. It currently produces up to 20,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (20,000BOPD) and hosts facilities that can output 150,000BOPD. Gas production is less than 50Million standard cubic feet per day (50MMscf/d).

As far back as late 2016, Shell had demanded $1.2Billion for 45% interest in OMLs 11 and 17, a process constrained by the fact that the two licences were close to their expiry dates. In 2017, they were included on the list of 17 acreages that Shell had submitted to the government for renewal. But the Nigerian regulatory agency, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), citing the extra-large size of the acreage per its extant regulations, withheld the renewal of OML 11 as it was and proposed to President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as the petroleum minister, to carve the tract into three and approve only one for Shell. The President’s office, however, went farther than the request. It withdrew the operatorship of the entire OML 11 from Shell. Renewal of the remaining 16 assets was approved. That singular act dimmed the investment prospects of the deal that Shell and TNOG were negotiating, as OML 17 is considered the less prospective of the two blocks.

Still, Mr. Elumelu, it would seem, badly wanted to annex an apparently sizeable producing asset to his energy portfolio, which already includes two thermal generating plants and two non-producing hydrocarbon acreages. More crucially, for the businessman, producing assets like OML 17 start their lives with new holders as ongoing cash generating engines, no matter how depleted the fields are or how challenging the operations turn out to be.

Shell, in its release, reported that the completion of the transaction “follows the receipt of all approvals from the relevant authorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria”. Shell also said that it will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt and Residential areas, which fall within the lease area.


Ghana Backs Down on Objection to Wissam Al Monthiry as Tullow’s Head

Ghanaian authorities have quietly dropped objections to having Wissam Al Monthiry as Managing Director of Tullow Oil Ghana.

The Government initially demonstrated fidelity to its local content requirements when it objected to British company’s appointment of a non-Ghanaian as the Company’s Chief Executive in Ghana, insisting that Tullow Oil’s action defeats the Government’s localisation agenda.

Tullow had initially picked Kweku Awotwi, a Ghanaian electrical engineer and businessman, in February 2020, after the retirement of Charles Darku, the first Ghanaian managing director who had served the company for five years

But in the middle of May 2020, after an extensive review of its operations in the country, which is also its heartland, Tullow appointed Wissam Al Monthiry to replace Awotwi, who was due for retirement on June 30, 2020.

“Government did not pursue this objection further as the new MD remained Tullow’s MD as at June 30, and into the second half of 2020”, says the country’s Public Interest Accountability Committee, in its latest report.


Be Bold, Cut Out Entitlement: No One Owes Us Anything

By NJ Ayuk
In 2021 most opportunities in the energy sector and in business in general will go to those who show up and negotiate better deals and get involved in making African resources work for us. Forget handouts, foreign aid and government handouts.

As I wrote in the second edition of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, in 2021, young African dealmakers, negotiators and lawyers will have to embrace a new mindset to win. They will have to mobilize their resources and advocate for important principles of personal responsibility, smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law.

In 2021, African gas projects are going to be in the news. Companies will push to get them going, from Mozambique to Nigeria and from Equatorial Guinea to Tanzania.

If some extremists have their way, none of these projects should happen and our people should be left in the dark. Question we must also ask is how Africans are going to participate when it comes to jobs and contracts. In 2021, we cannot be bystanders. We all can’t afford to.

Africa’s economic recovery from Covid-19 and our global significance in the era of energy transition and attacks on our energy sector must be driven by the talent and entrepreneurship of its people.

Our continent is still struggling when it comes to establishing democratic and trade institutions, we must push for more democracy. Democracy isn’t perfect but it is the best of all political practices and we must embrace it.

I have a few words of advice for this generation, for Africa’s young attorneys, entrepreneurs, rising stars and dealmakers:

Never lose sight of the significance of your work.

By negotiating effectively for African businesses and governments, you can play a huge role in transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans. Few things in life are more satisfying.

I am proud of the law group I have built, but I consider the work I have done to get justice for and empower African individuals, businesses, and communities among my greatest successes.

I am the first to advise many young people to avoid feeling entitled to anything. No one owes you or us anything. We have to earn it. Our approach and success in oil and gas negotiations stem from our deep preparation and mindset. More of that is needed in 2021.

I have stated many times: you succeed when you look for mentors and let them mentor you. It’s important to have someone who is promoting you when you are not in the room. Next, be stubbornly loyal. Don’t try to pull a fast one because you know more than others! Further, embrace your trials and shortcomings for they teach you to be a better person and lawyer.

I have seen too many young lawyers or rising stars who get a chance to be on a podium, and then tend to spend more time being celebrities than being around colleagues or supervisors.

Many so-called celebrities have not earned a deal and completed one, so avoid having a big head. For me if you have not closed a deal and are not making money, you need to keep your philosophies to yourself. It is crucial to have a strong focus on building your skills because clients and business partners really want you to be good at what you do. Your writing, critical thinking, commercial mindset and in-depth industry skills cannot hurt you. Most clients want to know who is working on their deals, and they do not care about your race or nationality. They want to know you are qualified and can get the job done.

When you finally get a deal done and you get your first bonus or check, do not fall in the trap of buying that fancy car or getting into fast life. You will get broke so quickly. Spend wisely even when you think you have arrived where you need to be. Always think there is more and stay hungry. Look at the Texas oil boys, they are always hungry. They wear their cowboy boots and continue searching for the next big discovery.

Hashtags do not pay the bills. Get off your phone.

Get offline, social media is nice but it isn’t everything, we have seen people who prefer to seat on their phone even during business meetings rather than engage on real business. How do want a deal when you are busy on your whatsapp group chats? Why have a meeting with someone when you will be on your phone while they are talking? Get out of the room and take the call or send a message. If you decide to work on your Instagram while talking to me, I walk you out of my office or end the meeting. When you don’t get the job or the contract, don’t be so quick on blaming the “White Man” or Racism.

I know this will get the young generation annoyed, but its real. We need to start having a post covid mindset and know we will have to engage again. I am not crazy about Zoom meetings, but we have to do it. Business is not about who had the best tweet two hours ago or who does the best hooting and hollering. Get down on the ground and make money. Do not believe those who tell you money is bad. We know it is bad being broke and we hate being broke. You should never apologise for working hard and making money. To do that, you must be focused and yes, get off your phone.

Commit to work. Pay your dues. Your time to shine will come.

Always ask yourself, “Am I adding value to the firm or the company?” Don’t think you are in the firm to be the labour union representative or the head of diversity.

Do not walk around the firm or even a negotiation with arrogance or give off a sense that you are entitled, or that your opinion matters on every subject. You are not owed anything. It is important not to cry over discrimination on every issue, whether it is sexism, racism, or xenophobia.

You beat them with excellence and success. We see it every day and you will be surprised it comes from the same liberals who claim to love all humans and want to save the world. They will love to patronize you and put you in your place. I have experienced it myself. I just work harder, and success follows.

You must understand that building a successful practice or business calls for something not taught in law school or business school or any school: the ability to hustle and deliver on deals. I have always had run-ins with young lawyers because I can be a tough, goal-oriented taskmaster. I have a fierce sense of urgency that many others don’t share.  

Working for Centurion is not for the naïve or the fainthearted—we don’t tolerate young lawyers viewing Centurion as merely a job. Everyone has to give their maximum effort all the time.

The truth is, I am harder on myself. I am never satisfied, and I just believe I can win bigger and do the deal better. The most important outcome for me is to have people around me achieve more than they ever thought they could.

Lean in and take the heat for your client or causes you believe in, and for Africa

In 2021, you will have to visible, be vocal in defending the African energy sector from those that want to end it and you must capitalize on the opportunities that you see. One of the key things you must do in 2021, is take the heat for your clients. I have never had a problem being called an ambulance-chaser in the past. Today I am that ambulance that is being chased and many know i will always stand with them and I built a strategy of taking the heat for them. Don’t let them push on your client or kill your issue. Develop a thick skin and let them hit you. If I can’t take the heat, I have no business being in the kitchen.

I have been pushed, been kicked, sometimes been spat on, lied on, demonized, talked about and even derided in the media. Its does not bother me one bit, I always know I am going to outlast my distractors or competition. In 2020, we made more money than any other year with Centurion Plus, our latest on-demand service. I have also been invited to meet with Presidents, Ministers, CEO’s and even Royals. But I never lost my way.

Never take your eyes off the prize. Be patient, play chess, keep smiling, be ready to take a punch and definitely hit back and do it harder. Maybe a combination of Jabs, Uppercuts and Hooks. That’s going to be you in 2021. Its going to be a fight to stay alive, stay employed, stay in business, stay relevant and stay sane when everything and everyone around you is going crazy.

You are going to be tested. They are going to come after you. sometimes even your own friends and those who laugh with you then stab you in the back. You will be called a traitor to most of your liberal elitist friends who feel entitled, drink latte with soy or almond milk. They sometimes cannot believe that this kid who was their darling and their best boo does not buy into their tree hugging, cry me a river ideology. You and I will have to believe and fight for Africa first, against energy poverty, and for personal responsibility, free markets, limited government and yes we must not be ashamed of being people of faith.

The wisdom and advice my law school mentor and professor John Radsan, who used to serve as the CIA’s assistant general counsel and Ron Walters shared with me hold true for you today: each one of us has a mandate to use our education and skills to impact communities and to promote economic growth and empowerment.

So, yes, seek career success and prosperity in 2021. But, in the end, choose to do good: use your skills to make sure that everyday Africans receive their fair share of the benefits the continent’s natural resources can provide.

NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, CEO of Centurion Law Group, and the author of several books about the oil and gas industry in Africa, including ‘Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.’

 


NNPC Poaches an EITI Insider to Manage its EITI Compliance

Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC has poached a manager from inside the EITI to run its EITI Implementation Programme.
EITI is Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an international organization that advocates for  global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.

Murjanatu Ibrahim Gamawa is   the EITI Country Manager in charge of coordinating implementation of EITI standards across Anglophone Africa. She also reviews and analyses EITI Reports, Annual Progress Reports, work plans, Terms of Reference and other country documents, and participates in the International Secretariat’s work on assessment of progress with meeting the EITI’s validation requirements.

Gamawa will help the state hydrocarbon company to drive speedy attainment of the EITI requirements across its operations. The NNPC says that her appointment, which will take effect from January 2021, is a practical step towards entrenching the culture of transparency in the Corporation.

Gamawa’s previous experience includes working for Nigeria EITI as a petroleum analyst and subsequently as the oil and gas team leader. Gamawa holds a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, an M.Sc. in Petroleum Geoscience from the Imperial College London and an MBA in Energy Management with distinction from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her professional interests are related to natural resource management and public financial management.


Petroleum Industry Bill Arrives Again at the Nigerian National Assembly

A team of lawyers at the Nigerian Ministry of Justice has finalised the draft of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill and sent it off to the National Assembly, the country’s bicameral house of legislature.

The frame of the document had earlier been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal executive council.

The omnibus legislation, which, according to the Ministry of Petroleum, “combines 16 different Nigerian petroleum laws in a single transparent and coherent document ….” has again been consolidated into one single volume.

The first version of the PIB was presented to the National Assembly in 2007. It didn’t make it to law. It has returned, fruitlessly, to two National Assemblies after that.

The last time the bill was debated by the legislature-during the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari-it was in four separate volumes.

Out of the four: Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Petroleum Industry Finance Bill, Petroleum Host and Impacted Communities Bill (PHICB) and Petroleum Industry Administrative Bill, only one, the PIGB, made it through to the President’s desk for assent and he didn’t sign it.

It has become something of a cliché to say that the non passage of the PIB, since it was first presented 13 years ago, has deepened the uncertainties in the Nigerian Petroleum industry.

Timipre Silva, the country’s current Minister of state for Petroleum, has repeated the guarantees that the PIB will pass this year.


Attar, Algeria’s New Energy Minister, Is back to Familiar Haunts

The Algerian geologist, Abdelmadjid Attar, former CEO of Sonatrach, is his country’s new Minister of Energy.

He takes over from Mohamed Arkab, who has been posted to the less flambouyant Ministry of Mining.

The appointments were part of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s partial reshuffle within the government.

Attar was Chief Executive of Sonatrach, Africa’s largest state hydrocarbon company, between 1997 and 1999.

He reached the position after moving up the ranks, taking jobs with increasing responsibilities, including that of director of the exploration division.

Aged 74, Attar obtained the diploma of geological engineering in exploration and attended several trainings in economics and management. He is also the author of several specialized publications.

Mr. Attar is a widely sought-after hydrocarbons consultant in North Africa. He has expressed a keen interest in drawing International Oil Companies back to invest massively in the country.

 


Eland’s Bosses Didn’t Make it to Seplat

Bayo Ayorinde, Chief Executive of Eland Oil and Gas at the time of the merger with Seplat, chose not to move into the new arrangement.

So did Pieter Van Der Groen, who was Eland’s Director of Business Development and former Chief Operating Officer.

Seplat purchased Aberdeen based company Eland Oil & Gas for $480Million, in a move which led to the delisting of the latter from the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange.

In the new arrangement, Eland’s 30,000Barrels of Oil Per Day operations will remain outside Seplat; the company will be run as a subsidiary of Seplat.

Ayorinde joined Eland as Managing Director of Nigerian operations in 2015, after serving in Operations and Maintenance (O&M) services for Oriental Energy.

He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ife and completed a General Management Programme at Harvard University. He started his career with Ashland and rose to the level of onshore Production Manager before leaving for Texaco Overseas where he served as Head of HR in Warri, the hub city in the Western Niger Delta. Afterwards, he worked for Moni Pulo and Allied Energy as Executive Director and COO before joining Afren in 2009. He was the Managing Director at Afren from 2011 before going to Oriental Energy.

Ayorinde currently freelances as a consultant for Seplat, as he prepares his next move.

Van Der Groen did not return calls.

Van Der Groen trained at the Universities of Auckland and Aberdeen, started his career with Schlumberger as a geologist in London, moving on to become a wireline engineer in South East Asia and West Africa. After his field work, he trained as a log analyst with Schlumberger in London for multiple clients. worked at Schlumberger Oilfield UK PLC. He moved to Amerada Hess initially as a Petrophysicist in the international team, then to technical and management roles. He then worked briefly with Gulfsands Petroleum in Syria as Deputy General Manager. In Nigeria he spent four years as General Manager of an independent oil company where he oversaw onshore development and production in the Niger Delta.

 

 

 


Mojapelo Takes Hold of BP’s Largest African Downstream Operations

BP has appointed Taelo Mojapelo as Chief Executive Officer of its Southern African business unit (BPSA).
The supply chain expert succeeds Priscillah Mabelane, the accountant who, reputably, is the first woman in the history of South Africa’s oil industry to head up a multinational company.

Mojapelo’s last job was Director as Customer Service & Logistics at Mondelez, a position she took up in June 2017.

She had worked at DHL, South African Breweries, SAPICS and Kellogg’s.

The choice of a supply chain specialist as CEO is indicative of BP Southern Africa’s customer-centric focus.

BP SA has over 500 service stations in South Africa alone, comprising of over 200 branded convenience stores.

BPSA owns, with Shell, the largest crude oil refinery in South Africa (the 180,000BOPD SAPREF), which is located in Durban, the seaside holiday town on the edge of the Indian Ocean. It also manufactures lubricants at an oil blending plant located in the city of Durban. The company operates nine depots and three coastal installations, as well as the largest rail gantry in Africa located in Pretoria with planned upgrades to key depots.

 


America’s Move Against Adesina’s Re-election, Fits A Pattern

By the Editorial Board of Africa Oil+Gas Report

With its negative reaction to the conclusions in the report of the ethics committee of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United States has made a clear symbolic move against the re-election of Akinwumi Adesina as the Bank’s Chief Executive.

Adesina is running for a re-election in which he is his own opponent. Many believe he has done a good job, especially in the energy sector, but being a lone candidate isn’t a surefire guarantee he will return.

The poll was moved by the administrators from May to August 2020.

Elections to the Presidency of the continent’s top development bank is often fraught.

It is instructive that it is in this election year that a group of “worried employees” came up with a list of grievances to the Office of Integrity and the Fight against Corruption (PIAC) as well as the Chairmen of the Ethics Committee and Audit Finance Committee, alleging that Mr. Adesina has violated the code of ethics, citing a number of questionable contracts and dubious appointments on Adesina’s watch.  The Ethics Committee investigated the allegations and declared that “the President is totally exonerated of all allegations”.

That clean bill should ordinarily provide the wind behind his sail.

But in a letter sent on May 22 to Kaba Nialé, the Ivorian Minister of Planning and Development and the president of the board of governors of the AfDB, Steven Mnuchin, the American secretary of the Treasury, says that the United States “urges the initiation of a full investigation into these allegations by using the services of an independent external investigator”.

To continue on the job, Adesina must win a double majority of African and non-African shareholders in a maximum of five rounds.

As of February 2020, Adesina had obtained the unanimous support of the Executive Council of the African Union, composed of 55 foreign ministers.

On the strength of his personal charisma, he was coasting to victory.

But there has to be other ways to stop him, the Trump administration, in its tendency for bringing down talented Africans at the helm of supranational institutions, thinks.

The whistleblowers who reported him to the ethics committee, had been suspected, all along, to have been instigated by the United States. As they were laying down the accusations, they were charging the ethics committee of an inability to be neutral.

And you could read, from Mr. Mnuchin’s letter, that these allegations are the US’ ammunition to stop Adesina from getting a re-election.

“Given the scope, gravity and detail of the allegations against the sole candidate for leadership of the bank for the next five years, we believe that further investigation is necessary to ensure that it has broad support, trust and a clear shareholder mandate,” Mnuchin writes.


BP’s Top Man in North Africa Retires

Hesham Mekawi has decided to retire. The Egyptian engineer, who is BP’s Regional President for North Africa, is leaving after a career with the European oil giant spanning over 30 years.

Mekawi will leave at the end of 2020 to pursue non-executive director opportunities. He will continue in his current role until 1 July 2020 and will then spend 6 months as a senior advisor to ensure the smooth transition of leadership.

Hesham joined BP in 1990 and, in the early stages of his career, held a variety of commercial, economic analysis and business development roles in Cairo, Houston, Chicago and London. He led the consolidation of BP Egypt, BP Algeria and BP Libya to create the expanded BP North Africa Region in 2014. Hesham transformed the North Africa business by identifying and progressing complex growth opportunities and actively managing the portfolio.

Over the past 5 years, BP has invested $14Billion in Egypt delivering at its peak 60% of Egypt’s annual gas production together with its partners. Hesham has been recognized many times over the years, both internally and externally. Of particular note is that he and his team were awarded BP’s Helios award for “BP at its best”, in 2011.

Bernard Looney, BP CEO, commented that “Over the years BP has counted on Hesham’s vision and leadership to maintain and grow our business in North Africa. Hesham has always shown outstanding performance and progressive leadership supported by longstanding relationships with key stakeholders and business partners. His deep commitment to the development of people has served as an example to us all. Hesham has been instrumental in delivering on our plans over many years – regardless of the circumstances. We will miss him.”

 

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