All posts tagged feature

Nigeria Wants to Know Who Own the Companies That Produce Her Oil

By Sully Manope, in Abuja

Industry regulator issues a no-holds- barred directive on Beneficial Ownership Register

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission NUPRC has issued a requirement to “all entities that apply for or hold a participating interest in an exploration or production oil and gas license, lease or contract (“relevant persons”) to provide information of their owners, including the identity(ies) of their beneficial owner(s), the level of ownership and details about how that ownership or control is exerted”.

With this announcement, the regulator, as empowered by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), has waded into the Beneficial Ownership issue, taking the initiative from the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The Transparency watchdog had, in its last report (2020), lamented that companies were not responding to its call to them to provide the relevant information.

NEITI noted that it had designed a Beneficial Ownership Data template to collect information from companies. Copies of the template were sent to all the covered companies and only 32 companies provided all the information required in the templates. “11 companies did not provide any information on beneficial ownership while 26 did not provide complete information, most especially the owners (natural persons) of the companies”, NEITI says in that report, which is now two years outdated. “Most of the companies that submitted BO information provided the required attestation by a senior management officer or senior legal counsel of the company as to the validity of the information provided”.

The NUPRC declared in an end of year statement: ”all relevant persons are hereby required to provide the information of persons with significant control over them”.

The regulator describes a “person with significant control” as one who:

    • directly or indirectly holding at least 5% of the shares or interest in a relevant person;
    • directly or indirectly holding at least 5% of the voting rights in a relevant person;
    • directly or indirectly holding the right to appoint or remove a majority of the directors or partners in a relevant person;
    • otherwise having the right to exercise or actually exercising significant influence or control over a relevant person; or
    • having the right to exercise, or actually exercising significant influence or control over the activities of a trust or firm, whether or not it is a legal entity, but would itself satisfy any of the first four conditions above if it were an individual.

NUPRC also says that the information shall be provided using the BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DECLARATION FORM

The upstream regulator says: “All current holders of participating interest in an exploration or production oil and gas license, lease or contract are hereby required to fill the BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DECLARATION FORM and send to the Commission at not later than seven (7) days from the date of this notification.

“All entities that henceforth apply for participating interest in an exploration or production oil and gas license, lease or contract shall also be required to fill the BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DECLARATION FORM and submit with their application.

“Notice of change in persons in significant control over a relevant person shall be provided by the relevant person within 30 days of the change using the CHANGE IN BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DECLARATION FORM”.



Nosa Omorodion Wins the AAPG’s Outstanding Leadership Award

The Nigerian geologist Nosa Omorodion, has been announced as the winner of one of the most distinguished awards given by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists AAPG).

The award is Michel T Halbouty Outstanding Leadership (MTHOL) Award, given “in recognition of outstanding and exceptional leadership in the petroleum geosciences”.

The AAPG is the world’s leading professional society for petroleum geoscience, with over 30,000 members worldwide.

The MTHOL Award is named for Michel T Halbouty, an American geologist, petroleum engineer, and wildcatter who was credited with discovering more than 50 oil and gas fields.  In a long, storied, life (he died in 2004 at the age of 95), Halbouty twice declared bankruptcy, but came back each time to regain wealth. He authored hundreds of technical articles on petroleum geology, and two book-length histories of famous oil fields. Halbouty is often described, including in his New York Times obituary, as “legendary.”

The award is one of the top two of the 12 awards announced for 23 geoscientists from across the world for 2023.

The honorees, approved by the AAPG Executive Committee, “were selected based on service to the profession, the science, the Association and the public”, the AAPG says on is website.

Most on this year’s award list are American; but there are also Canadians, Italians and Nigerians.

Apart from Mr. Omorodion, who is an Executive Director at the Nigerian operations of Schlumberger (the giant, global oilfield services company), there are three Nigerians on the list, including Akinwande Oluseye Ekun, who is an earth scientist in Chevron’s Houston offices and Mimionitu Opuwari, a professor of geosciences at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. Ekun and Opuwari are honoured for “Distinguished Service” to the profession, the science, the Association and the public.

Philip Ajaebili, a reservoir geophysicist at Shell Nigeria, is honoured with a “Young Professionals Exemplary Service Award”.

Mr. Omorodion, who counts, in his profile, 34 years of post-graduation experience in the oil and gas industry, is one of those individuals you could describe as keen enthusiasts of professional associations.

He is a former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and has been bullish on AAPG, the world’s largest grouping of earth scientists. He has been on the Distinguished Lecture Committee (International); , he has been Secretary/Treasurer AAPG Africa Region; Membership Coordination and Communication, AAPG Africa Region; President, AAPG Africa Region; General Co-Chair, AAPG-NAPE Deepwater West Africa Conference; General Co-Chair, AAPG Africa/Europe Joint Conference, Marrakesh, Morocco; on the Technical Committee, AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Istanbul, Turkey.

The full list of the AAPG 2023 honorees is as follows:


    • Kitty Milliken, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas
    • Nosa Omorodion, Schlumberger, Houston, Texas (Africa Region)
    • Robert D. Hatcher Jr., University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
    • Cynthia Huggins, Aera , Bakersfield, Calif.
    • Linda Price, ExxonMobil, Houston
    • Thomas E. Ewing, Frontera Exploration Consultants, San Antonio, Texas
    • Amy Fox, Enlighten Geoscience Ltd., Calgary, Canada
    • Rebecca Caldwell, Chevron, Houston
    • Joseph R. Davis, BKV Corp., Dallas, Texas
    • Raffaele Di Cuia, Delta Energy Ltd., Ferrara, Italy
    • Akinwande Oluseye Ekun, Chevron, Houston
    • Mimionitu Opuwari, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Douglas N. Valleau, Strategia Innovation and Technology Advisors, Spring, Texas
    • Virginia Sisson, Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association, Houston
    • Robert Trentham, University of Texas-Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas
    • Kirsten Siebach, Rice University, Houston
    • Neal and Inda Immega, HMNS, Houston
    • William A. Ambrose, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas
    • Dan J. Hartmann, DJH Energy Consulting, Fredericksburg, Texas
    • Philip Ajaebili, Shell, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
    • Andrea Lopez Vega, Total Energies, Luanda, Angola
    • William P. Bosworth, Apache, Cairo, Egypt


Solarise Africa Receives ~$40Million for Kenyan Expansion

The European Union’s ElectriFI Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI) has joined a league of funders injecting new money into Solarise Africa.

In addition to $33.4Million from the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF), Oikocredit and the AfricaGoGreen Fund (AGGF),  ElectriFI will fund Solarise Africa with $3Million , to expand its operations in Kenya.

The European Union (EU)-funded Electrification Finance Initiative (EDFI), is managed by EDFI Management Company, whereas the Sandton, South Africa-based Solarise Africa builds solar photovoltaic power plants that are then leased to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers.

“As an existing shareholder holding shares in Series A and B, EDFI ElectriFI is proud to strengthen its partnership with Solarise Africa and support the service platform to grow its portfolio of assets in Kenya. We expect this investment to bridge the funding gap until the company closes its next round,” says Geraldine Crosset, Senior Investment Officer of ElectriFI at EDFI MC. Solarise Africa was advised in this transaction by Viruni Capital Partners, a financial services provider based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

EDFI ElectriFI is providing this financing under its country window for Kenya. “The ElectriFI country window for Kenya is developed in partnership with EU delegations and host governments. In particular, it contributes to Kenya’s national electrification strategy as part of a Team Europe approach,” says EDFI ElectriFI.

Solarise Africa, founded by South African and Swiss entrepreneurs, is active in Kenya, Uganda Rwanda and South Africa.

The New Energy Players: Their Progress and Beyond for 2023!

By Gerard Kreeft

1989 was when I first set foot in Newfoundland (Canada).

 I was a Member of a Netherlands Trade Mission focused on oil and gas developments. We were warmly welcomed.

 Newfoundland’s fishermen had in large quantities become unemployed. A boycott had been placed on cod fishing, the mainstay of many of the Islanders. Would a Trade Mission featuring oil and gas provide them with the pot of gold they were so desperately in need of?

No, the story does not have a happy ending. Their talents were not usable in the oil and gas renaissance which would follow.

 Fast forward to 2023 and now it’s the former talents of the oil and gas world—geologists, geoscientists and drillers– who are to become redundant, much like Newfoundland’s fishermen. Instead, algorithms, digitalization and electrification of energy systems have become the new symbols of the energy transition in 2023.

 Below a story of the various players who are playing component parts in the ongoing energy transition. A transition being driven by earlier CO2 deadlines, which for a majority of new energy companies, have given them a commercial edge. The swiftly changing landscape provides these new energy companies with technical specialization, virtually a guarantee that their market share and value will only increase. In some cases, creating near monopoly situations.

 A key question remains: have they forgotten their green heritage?  Have they forgotten that an important part of the green heritage is to help those in need? Not out of pity but a humane act of kindness. Forget not that Sub-Sahara Africa will one day will become a dominant green market. Can Sub-Sahara Africa with its 568Million people who have no access to electricity and 900Million, who have no access to clean cooking fuels and technologies be ignored (The Energy Progress Report 2022)? Finally, forget not that one day you may require the humanity of Sub-Sahara Africa.

The Trend Setters


Enel’s Strategic Plan 2023-2025 is designed to make the company leaner and meaner: Shedding $21Billion in assets to reduce debt, a sharpened focus on six key countries, electrification and digitalization of its customer base, achieving CO2 neutrality by 2040 instead of 2050 and increasing profitability.

Enel’s core operations have been reduced to six key countries: Italy, Spain, the United States, Brazil, Chile and Columbia. The key will be to add some 21GW (gigawatts) of installed capacity so that by 2025 the company will have an installed generating capacity of some 75GW, to create a digital platform on which value does not reside in owning resources but rather in managing data-driven ecosystems. A key goal is to achieve 75% of electricity from renewables and 80% digitalization of its customers on the grid by 2025.

Note: 1GW can generate electricity for 750,000 households.

 Enel’s strategy is simple: “The term platform often refers to a business model typical of digital companies which, very efficiently, manage to connect assets and services that they do not own.” This, in effect, borrows a chapter from Uber, which does not own taxis or Booking, which does not own hotels. A digital platform on which value does not reside in owning resources but rather in managing data-driven ecosystems.

To spur its growth outside its six-core-country strategy Enel has developed a Stewardship Model.  Enel, together with partners will invest $15Billion in infrastructural investments in countries where the company has a potential interest.

In Africa Enel (Enel Green Power) has teamed up with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), an investment fund to invest on a 50/50 basis in all of the new ventures and opportunities in renewables in Sub-Saharan Africa. Already QIA has taken over half of Enel’s stake of 800MW of existing projects in South Africa and Zambia.


Engie is pledged to reduce to CO2 neutrality by 2045. The company has indicated it will reduce its focus to 30 countries instead of 70. Four new core divisions have been implemented:

Renewable energy

Energy solutions


Thermal production and energy supply.

45% of investments is focused on renewables. Between 2023-2025, an additional capacity of 4GW per year will be added; 6GW per year from 2026 onward, resulting in almost 80GW by 2030.

Hydrogen production in 2030 will be 4GW, 700 km of dedicated hydrogen networks will be in place, and more than 100 fueling stations for hydrogen mobility will be rolled out.

 Engie has strong ambitions in Africa comprising 3,000MW of electricity generation facilities, both in operation and in construction, located in Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and South Africa; service activities in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia; decentralized power generation, mini-grids development and Solar-Home-Systems (SHS) in 9 countries serving over more than 4Million people.


Iberdrola’s 2023-2025 Strategic Plan indicates that the company will invest $50Billion and achieve net zero for Scope 1, 2 and 3 before 2040.

By 2030 the company will have installed capacity of 100GW, valued at $70Billion.

Key markets include France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, USA, Brazil and Australia.

Offshore wind projects, totaling $18Billion in France, Germany, UK and the USA, are the key investments of the company.

Net profitability by 2025 will increase to more than $5Billion, up from $4Billion in 2022.

Electrification of all sectors is high on the company agenda.

The company under its Electricity for All Programme has carried out projects in Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.


Ørsted, the Danish wind energy pioneer, continues to set new records. Its share price in December 2022 was $93; five years earlier in 10 June 2016 it was $37.

By 2030 the company’s goal is to have an installed capacity of 50GW. Ørsted is also involved with the building of two energy islands– Bornholm and North Sea– which will deliver 10GW of power.

The company’s return on investment is predicted to be 12% EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation) for the period up to 2027.

The company has projects in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, throughout Europe (Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Poland, and UK) and the USA.

 The Equalizers


ACWA is Saudi is a developer, investor, and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants.  The company has 66 assets, spread over 12 countries, valued at $68Billion and has 44.6GW generating power. Some examples:

In Morocco ACWA has developed three solar parks totalling 500MW for the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN).

In the Republic of Uzbekistan, it is developing the 1.5 GW Kungrad wind farm in the republic of Karakalpakstan. The wind farm will comprise three 500MW wind power projects.

ACWA is in agreement with nine renowned Chinese entities for financing, investment and construction of ACWA Power’s global clean and renewable energy projects in Saudi Arabia and Belt and Road Initiative countries.

There is also an agreement with The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) to explore a joint investment in the 1.1 GW Wind Energy project, located in the Gulf of Suez in Egypt.

The company has an extensive memorandum of understanding (MoU) exploring a partnership for the development of green hydrogen and its derivatives in the Republic of South Africa.

It also inked agreements with both the National Water Company of Senegal (SONES) and the National Electricity Company of Senegal (SENELEC) for the development of a 300,000 m3/d seawater reverse osmosis plant (SWRO) in Grande Côte; and working closely with SENELEC to develop a Combined Cycle Gas-Turbine (CCGT) plant in Cap des Biches with an initial design capacity of 160 MW.


Lekela’s current portfolio includes more than 1GW of power involving projects in Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa.

The company’s focus is utility-scale projects which supply much-needed clean energy to communities across Africa.  The focus is on taking projects from mid-or late-stage development into long-term operation.


Scatec is a Norwegian, renewable power producer, developing, building, owning and operating solar, wind and hydro power plants and storage solutions. Scatec has more than 4.6GW in operation and under construction on four continents. The company is targeting 15GW capacity by the end of 2025. In Africa the company has projects in, Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea. Malawi, Madagascar, and Rwanda.

Key Takeaways

  1. Enel, Iberdrola, and Ørsted have focused their strategy to the markets of North America, South America and Asia where growth is expected to flourish.
  2. The Energy Transition is gathering speed: Witness the bringing forward the dates of CO2 neutrality to 2040 instead of 2050 that both Enel and Iberdrola are proposing.
  3. The increased specialization and experience that Enel/ Iberdrola/Engie have achieved is a steep barrier for new entrants. Think of the oil majors who for the most part have only symbolic experience in renewable energy. The one exception is Equinor which will have more than 50% of its capital budget allocated to renewables by 2030.
  4. That the primary focus of Enel, Iberdrola and Ørsted is not on Sub-Saharan Africa should come as no surprise. This has simply not been a key portion of their market. Can this continue? Is it not time that these companies put together a Marshal Plan for Sub-Sahara Africa? True Enel through its Stewardship Model and Engie with its African footprint have seized business opportunities but much more is needed. Sub-Sahara Africa can very quickly become a primary renewable marketplace!
  5. Sub-Sahara Africa is receiving a sharp focus from both the development banks and such companies as ACWA, Lekela and Scatec.

Gerard Kreeft, BA (Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA) and MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was founder and owner of EnergyWise.  He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars and university master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia and throughout Europe.  Kreeft has Dutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands.  He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil + Gas Report, and is a guest contributor to IEEFA(Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis). His book ‘The 10 Commandments of the Energy Transition ‘is on sale at













Mozambique to Legalize Village Militias to Fight Terrorists in Gas Rich Province

The Mozambican parliament has passed the first reading of a government bill that will legalise the “local forces”, which are village militias in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, set up to fight against Islamist terrorists.

Terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado began in October 2017, and have been characterized by great brutality, including beheadings, mutilations and rapes. As from 2019, rather than rely exclusively on units of the defense and security forces, some villages began to set up their own self-defence units, initially drawn largely from veterans of Mozambique’s war for independence from Portuguese colonial rule.

The government bill makes it clear that the “local forces” are not independent, but fall under the control of the regular armed forces (FADM), which will provide them with logistical support. Introducing the bill, Defence Minister Cristovao Chume said the military chain of command covers the local forces, which are a temporary expedient arising from the crisis of jihadist terrorism.

Local forces began as an offshoot of the veterans of the independence war, the Defence Minister says in a statement. Today, they include many young people determined to defend their villages, and even some demobilized soldiers who had once been members of the main opposition party Renamo.

Both Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), the second opposition party, denounced the bill, claiming that it legitimizes a “parallel” paramilitary force, serving the ruling Frelimo Party.

Renamo deputies repeatedly declared that the bill “legitimizes naparamas”. In fact, the bill does not mention the naparamas, which are an independent peasant militia, quite separate from the local forces.

The naparamas first appeared in the late 1980s, fighting alongside the Mozambican army against Renamo, and, for a few years, enjoying considerable successes in Nampula and Zambezia provinces. They reappeared a few months ago to fight against the jihadists in Cabo Delgado. It is not at all clear that the naparamas would disband, even if the government told them to.

Renamo and the MDM argue that the local forces are “unconstitutional”, because the Mozambican constitution states that defence matters are exclusively the domain of the armed forces and the police.

But the government’s bill deals with this problem by bringing the local forces explicitly under the control of the FADM. Indeed, if the bill is not passed, the situation of the local forces would clearly become unconstitutional.

Neither Renamo nor the MDM suggested disbanding the local forces. Instead, they argued that they could be replaced by reservists, or by recalling demobilized soldiers into the FADM.

In the vote, the 161 members of the ruling Frelimo Party present supported the bill, while all 56 Renamo and MDM deputies in the room voted against.

The bill now enters a committee stage, where amendments can be proposed, but it is unlikely to undergo any significant change. The second and final plenary reading of the bill will occur on Friday or Monday

Century Begins Upgrade of FPSO For Dangote’s Kaelekule Field

By Prospect Mojido, in Lagos

“The real work is to repair relations between NNPC, WAEP AND First E&P”

Century Energy Group has moved the Front Puffin FPSO (Floating, Production Storage and Offloading) vessel from the Aje condensate and gas field offshore Nigeria, to the SHIMCI FZE quayside in the Port of Lagos, for upgrade.

It is the third project to be carried out in the SHIMCI FZE yard, widely known to as Samsung -Ladol yard, since the fabrication and integration of the Egina FPSO, which sailed away to the deep offshore field in August 2018.

The de-bottlenecking upgrade is meant to get the Front Puffin ready for its next assignment on the Kaelekule oil field in in Oil Mining Lease (OML 72), held by the NNPC/West Africa E&P (WAEP) Joint Venture.

This event “draws closer the date for first oil on the field and may possibly make everyone involved more committed to early monetization of this resource”, multiple sources tell Africa Oil+Gas Report.

Owned and managed by the Century Group, the Front Puffin, has produced from the Aje field since May 2016. It is a single-sided FPSO with a hydrocarbon production facility designed to receive well fluids, separate and stabilize produced crude, store and stabilize crude in the FPSO’s cargo tanks, treat and discharge the produced water and compress the produced gas for gas lift with the balance of the gas being flared.

The upgrade is focused on changing the current submerged turret production (STP) and mooring configuration to a spread-moored design and inclusion of riser porch so as to accommodate the shallow water and draft requirement of the FPSO.

The location of the de-bottlenecking project in Nigeria provides a significant discount. It reduces the cost that would have been incurred if the job was to be performed in Singapore or Korea. Industry data evaluated by Africa Oil+Gas Report indicate a steep reduction in overall cost of the upgrade from over $250Million to less than $100Million.

Although Samsung sources say that the upgrade would be completed by late February 2023, at which time the vessel would be ready to receive hydrocarbon fluids, there is no certainty that all the upstream partners are in agreement over the proceedings of the work programme, let alone the date of first oil.

Which is odd, as Nigeria has struggled with declining crude oil revenues in the last one year as it battles a huge shortfall in its OPEC production quota. The country is in urgent need of topping up its crude oil output now.

The Kaelekule oil field redevelopment project has dragged, although the scope has increased from “early, marginal output “, of about 2-3,000Barrels of Oil Per Day, to a sizeable 15,000BOPD

The initial plan was to commence some production from the OML 72 by 2019, four years after WAEP, a subsidiary of the Dangote Industries Conglomerate, purchased 45% of the shallow water OMLs 71 and 72 from Shell, TOTAL and ENI for $300Million. WAEP has had, as a technical partner, First E&P, a Nigerian independent oil producer. Kalaekule field, the only field in the two acreages with a history of production, had been scheduled for a revamp; the field had produced crude oil between 1985 and 2002, peaking in 1999 at 22,000BOPD, but much of the facility has rotted.

In 2019 WAEP carried out safe access works, as well as repairs, on the field’s two wellhead platforms, KCPP-A & KCPP-B platforms. The company also did some work on some of the wells on both platforms, including well testing work on the platform B wells. Asset Integrity work, which will end in certification when all complete, is ongoing.

But much of the delay has been due to pushbacks from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the arm of the state hydrocarbon company NNPC Ltd which oversees NNPC Joint Venture activity.  NNPC, through NAPIMS, holds 55% of the asset, and thus contributes that proportion to the wok programme.

NAPIMS eventually agreed to honour work done and the costs incurred in the field optimization work of 2017-2019, but NAPIMS did not honour the 2021 work and has provided no budget for the 2022 work.

“What is important is to repair relations between the partners”, one insider tells Africa Oi+Gas Report.

When the upgrade is completed, “the FPSO will receive co- mingled well fluids from KCPP-A platform through 10″ HP flowline, to enable topside production facility to be isolated from flowline/Production Platform”, says Mochamad Yudistira Nugraha,  SHIMCI FZE yard’s Senior Manager Business Development, .

Egypt Will Offer 12 Blocks for Gas Exploration

Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), is expected to launch Energy companies can bid for 12 new oil and gas exploration blocks latest by the first week of January 2023.

The bid offering will close by the end of second quarter 2023.

It will cover concessions in the Western Desert and the Mediterranean, where a host of gas fields have been discovered by BP, ENI and latterly Chevron, in the last seven years.

Egypt is a perennial launcher of bid rounds.

The country’s last tender, concluded barely six months ago, witnessed seven international energy companies win eight of the 24 oil and gas exploration blocks that were up for sale.  in the tender, and. BP, ENI, Apex International, Energean Egypt, United Energy, Ukraine’s INA Naftaplin, and Chile’s Enap Sipetrol all received blocks in the tender.



Evaluating Palmeron’s blues in the OML 130 drilling campaign tender

By Oluwaseun Adeoti


The Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is witnessing some kind of disquiet stemming from procurement process in the award of contract for the provision of drillship for TOTAL E&P OML 130 Drilling Campaign TENDER NO DW00001997. Mr Christopher Palmer, the Chief Executive Officer of Palmeron Nigeria, petitioned the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Limited, Mr Mele Kyari, alleging some irregularities and abuse of process in the tender.

He also accused NAPIMS, under the management of Mr Bala Wunti, of forcing TOTALEnergies to cancel the bid he ‘won’ in order to award the contract to the Tirex consortium through an illegal process. Then, following the award of the contract to a consortium of Derotech /Geoplex/ PIDWAL/NOBLE, which Tirex Petroleum and Energy is not even a part of, Mr Palmer is said to have started accusing the new consortium of underhand dealings.

A closer look at the petition shows that this issue pretty much looks like a business relationship that went sour. It emanated from TOTALEnergies’ Call for tender (CFT) and the participation of some bidders including Palmeron Nigeria. According to the petitioner, the tender process was cancelled midway in a bid to deny Palmeron Nigeria the contract of the award, which Mr. Palmer assumed his company won. Even without reading from either NAPIMS or TOTALEnergies, one could conveniently evaluate his claims using his own petition.

Mr Palmer alleged that TOTALEnergies and NAPIMS in August 2022 were considering awarding the contract to another consortium at a daily rate of $430,000 as compared to its lower rate of $322,500. It beats every imagination to suggest that business concerns will choose a more expensive option over a cheaper one unless it has to do with an issue of quality.

It could be that TOTALEnergies dropped Palmeron from further participating in the bid when it found out that he does not have a rig, a basic requirement for participation in the bid process. Is it not paradoxical that Mr Palmer who claims to have won the bid before ‘independence’ has been galivanting all over the place looking for where to get a rig. He was so desperate that, as late as October 2021, he was begging Prince Rotimi Ibidapo, the Chief Executive Officer of Derotech Offshore, to offer his rig to him for the project. He even promised to make his company the rig manager and a pay of $8,000 per day.

Anybody with a good knowledge of the workings in the oil and gas industry knows that bids attract all sorts of companies – those with experience and those without; the capable and the incapable; contenders and pretenders etc. The bid process is put in place to sift the grains from the chaff and, until the process is concluded with the award of a contract, the callers of the tender reserve the right to disqualify any responder to the bid. The lack of basic knowledge of this fact, made obvious by Palmeron’s assumption that it had won the bid, even when the process was on-going, shows its seeming ignorance of how the industry operates.

On the legal aspects, everyone who is conversant with the operations of the oil and gas industry knows that there are clauses in every CFT document that speak to the relationship between the CFT caller and the tenderer. This, Mr Palmer even acknowledged when he noted in his petition, that Article 5.2 of the instruction to TENDERER clearly states that no claim for compensation of any kind in respect of the preparation of the tender or any other cost shall be due to TENDERER in the event that COMPANY decides not to or is unable to proceed with the award of the CONTRACT.

Such clauses are put in the guidelines for participation to take care of such unforeseen circumstances that may arise in the course of the bid process and the belated decision of Palmeron Nigeria to disagree with that particular clause puts him and his company at risk of being regarded as bad losers.

There is no gainsaying that these IOCs even look beyond the horizon of the Nigerian legal system to also include the international anti-corruption laws when it comes to corporate governance issues. Moreover, the role of NAPIMS, headed by Mr Wunti – a highly respected regulator in the industry – in such instances, further questions the propriety of Mr Palmer’s tantrums.

Today, Mr Palmer, the only saint in Sodom and Gomorrah, has been blackmailing, and issuing threats to, the winners of the bid to do his bidding. Since the week of December 12, 2022, one of his phony groups, Citizen Group Nigeria, has been sending emails to one James Sanislow of the Noble Group, a member of the winning consortium, threatening him to quit the contract with TOTALEnergies or risk their attack. In their latest email, sent on 20 December, 2022, the phony group tried to apply pressure on Noble as they threatened, “this email and other emails to you will form part of our evidence that we informed you of your company’s illegality in Nigeria if you fail to take appropriate steps.” In an earlier email, the group even bragged of making money from DOJ for their nefarious acts. He has also been recruiting faceless groups and a discredited media organization in his inglorious fight.

Lastly Palmeron seems to be playing the victim card by alleging that it is being bullied as an indigenous company by an IOC and NAPIMS. Yes, same NAPIMS that is promoting the interests of indigenous oil and gas servicing companies, just to curry undue sympathy to itself. In its bid to achieve that, he started bullying other indigenous players, starting with Tirex Petroleum and Energy and moving on to the Derotech /Geoplex/ PIDWAL/NOBLE consortium when he realized that the contract has been awarded to the latter. One even wonders why Palmer is only fighting NAPIMS, a JV Operator, and not the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), without which Noble rig would not have been contracted.

The irony in the whole issue, which goes a long way to point to his character, is that this same Derotech that Mr Palmer has started accusing of underhand deal is the same company he was begging to partner with him in the contract bid but was turned down. One even wonders what sort of a businessman could be behaving the way he does – indiscriminately burning all the bridges he would need in the future.

Mr Palmer’s unfortunate expedition is trying to tarnish the image of responsible institutions in the country – NAPIMS and its Group General Manager, Mr Bala Wunti; TOTALEnergies, Tirex PE, Durotech Offshore, Noble Corporation and a host of other industry operators. He has even gone ahead to try and tarnish the image of the whole country by alleging that the Presidency is corrupt and powerless in dealing with corrupt practices.

This piece is entirely the opinion of the writer.



ENI Tops Up Congo’s FLNG Capacity By 300%

By Sully Manope, in Brazzaville

Project will deliver ~440MMscf/d by 2025

Italian producer ENI has launched a second Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project to increase the production of and export from the Republic of Congo.

The company announced it had signed a contract with Wison Heavy Industry for the construction and installation of an FLNG unit with a capacity of 2.4Million Metric tons per annum (2.4MTPA). The FLNG will be deployed offshore the Republic of Congo, widely known as Congo Brazzaville.

This facility will be the second FLNG to be deployed in the country, the first one being Tango FLNG (0.6 MTPA capacity), with LNG production expected to begin in 2023. With the second FLNG, overall LNG production capacity on the Marine XII field will reach 3Million tons/year (3MTPA), which is ~160 Billion standard cubic feet/year or 440MMscf/d in 2025.

The 380 metre long and 60 metre wide vessel will be anchored at a water-depth of around 40 metres and will be able to store over 180,000 cubic meters of LNG and 45,000 cubic meters of LPGs. Preliminary activities have already started, with long lead items ordered and steel cut of cryogenic tanks occurred on December 20th.

“Both initiatives are part of Marine XII gas valorisation plan, in line with ENI’s strategy to leverage gas equity”, the company says in a statement.



Somoil Grabs Even More

Angola’s largest homegrown E&P firm, Somoil, has agreed to increase its equity position in one acreage, even as it waits for government approval to acquire stakes in three others.

Somoil will purchase the 2.5% interest belonging to Indonesian state hydrocarbon company PTTEP in TOTALEnergies operated Block 17/06 project offshore Angola. Completion of the sale is expected by mid-2023, subject to the conditions prescribed in the sale and purchase agreement (SPA).

Somoil currently has at least 10% stake in each of six blocks, including 2/05, 3/05, 3/05A, 4/05, 14, FS/FST, all of them producing assets. Block 17/06, which is the seventh is under development.

Somoil’s net daily output in these properties collectively ranges from 10,000BOPD to 15,000BOPD, an outlying performance among Angolan indigenous players.

Somoil is currently, in partnership with Sirius Petroleum, in the process of acquiring, from state owned Sonangol, participating interests of 8.28% and 10% respectively in Blocks 18 and 31 (producing blocks) and a 25% participating interest in the exploration Block 27, for a total consideration of $335.5Million.

If that deal, which is far gone, is consummated by mid 2023 as anticipated, Somoil will have a position in 10 acreages in Angola, eight of which are producers.

Neither Somoil, nor PTTEP has disclosed the sum for which Somoil will purchase PTTEP’s  2.5% participating interest in Block 17/06. What’s clear is that the Block is host to the Begonia oilfield, currently under-development by French supermajor TOTALEnergies, who is the operator. Located in water depths of up to 750 metres, Begonia will be exploited as a subsea tie-back to TOTALlEnergies’ Pazflor floating production, storage and offloading vessel on adjacent Block 17. The Begonia project, which is expected to cost $850Million, will deliver about 30,000 barrels per day of crude.


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