All posts tagged news


Aker Will Use Two FPSOs For the Pecan Project in Ghana

By Toyin Akinosho, in Lagos

The Norwegian independent, Aker Energy, says it has changed its development concept for the Pecan field in ultra-Deepwater offshore Ghana.

The company will be using two FPSOs to drain the 450Million barrel (probable) reserves.

While the original field development concept was based on a centralised Floating Producing Storage Offshore (FPSO) vessel, supporting the development of the entire Pecan field, as well as tie-ins of all other area resources, the focus has shifted toward a phased development approach.

“This approach will enable Aker Energy to commence with one FPSO for Pecan in the south and expand to a second FPSO in the north after a few years, with tie-ins of additional discovered resources. The first FPSO will be deployed at around 115 kilometres offshore Ghana over a subsea production system installed in ultra-deep waters in depths ranging from 2,400 to 2,700 metres”.. ”, Aker says in a widely distributed release.

There has always been the suggestion of phased development, but Aker never said anything publicly about two FPSOs.

The Pecan field was discovered by Hess Corp. in December 2012. The American independent sold its equity on the asset, along with operatorship, to Aker Energy in 2017. The Norwegian explorer immediately ran with the project, hoping to take the discovery to market by 2022.

Aker concluded an appraisal campaign, involving three wells, in mid-2019 and announced that “reserves, to be developed in the first phase, are estimated at 334Million barrels of oil. Discovered contingent resources, to be developed in subsequent phases, are estimated at 110-210MMBOE, resulting in a combined volume base of approximately 450–550MMBOE. These estimates exclude any additional volumes from Pecan South and Pecan South East, currently being assessed”. Aker further declared it had “identified further upsides in the area that we intend to mature as part of the area development”, adding that “the total resource potential in the area is within the range of 600-1000MMBOE.”

In March, however, the company announced that a final investment decision (FID) had been placed on hold, postponing the project.

Today, it said: “While no new date has been set for the FID, the company is working actively to confirm the feasibility of a phased Pecan field development by executing conceptual studies.

Aker says that the phased development of the Pecan field and the utilisation of a redeployed FPSO vessel will substantially reduce the CAPEX and, hence, reduce the breakeven cost. In addition, it will increase the possibility of reaching a commercially feasible project that will allow for an investment decision. Aker Energy and partners are currently assessing several FPSO candidates for redeployment, and the final selection will be based on technical capabilities and cost.

Aker Energy is the operator of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) Petroleum Agreement, with a 50% participating interest in the DWT/CTP Petroleum Agreement. Its partners include the Russian explorer Lukoil (38%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10%) and the indigenous company Fueltrade Limited (2%).


Kenya To Restart Distributing Small LPG Cylinders to Poor Households

$28Million project had been stalled by a court case for two years.

After a two-year court case, in which it was accused of distributing substandard cylinders, the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) will start the distribution of the six-kilogramme (6kg) Gas Yetu cylinders to poor households in the country.

East Africa’s largest economy wants to wean its poorest people from the use of dirty wood fuel. A total of 109,649 six-kilogramme cylinders, 329,422 burners and 329,260 grills have been lying in the corporation’s warehouses since the distribution was discontinued on court orders in 2018.

The government had allocated $28Million for purchase of the cylinders to be sold at a subsidised $19 rate with complete accessories under the Gas Yetu brand. It’s a steep discount from the market price of $47 for the 6kg gas cylinder with cooking accessories.

The operation was disrupted by the discovery that fraudulent contractors supplied 67,251 faulty gas cylinders. The discovery indicated that 40% of the cylinders supplied to NOCK were sub-standard, including having faulty valves that posed the danger of fire eruptions.

The court case, instituted by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) was dropped after certain conditions were met including bringing on board the third party cylinder inspector. “The exercise by a third party cylinder inspector to independently test the cylinders and confirm the integrity and safety of the same ahead of distribution to Mwananchi starts on Monday, May 25, 2020,” Leparan Gideon Morintat told, NOCK’s chief executive officer told the Energy Committee of the Senate, the upper house of Kenya’s bicameral legislature.

 


Deadline for PIB is Challenged; First Drafts Unlikely in Cabinet Before Mid-June

There’s a chance that the first drafts of Nigeria’s Petroleum legislation will reach the Federal Executive Council (the country’s cabinet) by mid- June 2020, not before.

A three-month delay in producing the documents has pushed the envelope in getting this most crucial assignment delivered by the end of the year.

After they are approved by the 42-man FEC, the drafts will proceed to the National Assembly for deliberations that will shape them into acts of parliament, for the President to sign. It is unlikely that the bills: the Petroleum Industry Administratve Bill (PIAB), and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB), will get a first hearing at the bicameral house until July.

The original plan was that the Executive arm of government, coordinated by the state hydrocarbon company NNPC, would have pieced together the draft documents as early as late February or early March. But as the work dragged on, “it got truncated by the COVID -19 lockdown”, in the words of people who are familiar with the process, and only got significant traction in the last three weeks.

Considering the COVID-19 challenge, it’s not clear whether there will be public hearings at the Senate and the House of Representatives, as they work on the bills from late in the second half of the year.

But even if there are not, there has to be some time for inviting and accepting memoranda.

A comprehensive petroleum reform legislation, widely known as Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), has been showing up on the legislative agenda of the Nigerian National Assembly since 2008. In terms of construction, the document from which the first iteration of the legislation was generated was produced in 2000, in the form of a report and policy document issued by the Oil and Gas Implementation Committee (“OGIC”) established by (then) President Olusegun Obasanjo. That report, approved by the Yaradua government, resulted in the Petroleum Industry Bill 2008 being forwarded to the 6th National Assembly.

“The PIB has been a long time coming and we think that when it comes out later this year, it will come out with a lot of sweetness”, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting on March 5, 2020. “We are very mindful of the fact that it’s a very competitive environment right now and we are taking that on board in the new law”.

But does this three-month (probably more) delay mean that the reform law is unlikely to become reality in 2020?

Some of the people close to the process are optimistic.

“With the Presidency now apparently convinced”, says a consultant who has been part of the executive-legislature interface in the last 12 years, “these bills can be passed in three months. Remember the DOIB (Deep Offshore and Inland Basins) review took only 26 days from start to finish”.

There is a lot riding on this law. Nigeria is expecting a rise in investor interest in the energy market once the law goes through. Sylva said: “We are expecting that everybody will be interested because Nigeria is not just a brownfield, it has a lot of greenfield opportunities,” he said. “We believe the investment world will be quite pleased when we do come out with the bid round.” The PIB will provide a more stable investment framework in the sector. “Things have remained quite stagnant and that’s why we believe that with this bill it will bring a lot of certainty to the investment framework and people will get interested and come,” he said.


Capital Increase Reserved for Employees of the TOTAL Group in 2020

French major TOTAL says it is implementing its annual capital increase reserved for employees and former employees of the group, in accordance with its policy in favour of Employee Shareholding.

Through this operation, TOTAL S.A. intends to continue involving its employees in the Group’s business and growth.

Employee shareholders, within the meaning of Article L. 225-102 of the French Commercial Code, held 5.3% of the Company’s share capital as of December 31, 2019.

The eighteen resolution of the Shareholders’ Meeting of June 1, 2018 granted the Company’s Board of Directors the authority to decide, within a maximum period of 26 months, to carry out one or more capital increases of ordinary shares without preferential subscription rights, not to exceed 1.5% of the Company’s share capital at the date of the Board meeting resolving on the operation and reserved to members of a savings plan pursuant to the provisions of Articles L. 225-129 and seq., and L. 225-138-1 of the French Commercial Code and Articles L. 3332-1 to L. 3332-9 and L. 3332-18 to L. 3332 24 of the French Labor Code.

The Board, pursuant to the above-mentioned authorization, decided during its meeting on September 18, 2019 to carry out, in 2020, a new share capital increase reserved for employees and former employees of the Group pursuant to the following conditions:

  •  Maximum number of shares offered and total amount of the offer: 18 million shares with a nominal value of €2.50 each, representing a total nominal amount of €45 million, which is the equivalent of 0.67% of the Company’s share capital as of the date of the Board’s decision.
  •  Description of the newly issued shares: same category as existing shares with immediate dividend rights. The rights attached to the newly issued shares are the same than the rights attached to the existing shares of the Company, and are described in the articles of association of TOTAL S.A.
  • Listing of the newly issued shares on Euronext Paris: on the same line as existing shares from their issuance. American Depositary Receipts corresponding to the newly issued shares may also be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
  •   Share subscription price: 26.20 EUR per share, corresponding to the average of the closing prices of the TOTAL shares on Euronext Paris over the 20 trading sessions preceding April 29 (“Reference Price”), reduced by a 20% discount and rounded off to the highest tenth of a euro.
  • Timeline of the subscription period: from May 6, 2020 to May 18, 2020 included.

 


Kenya Makes $14 Million From ‘Trickles’ of Oil Export

By Toyin Akinosho

Kenya’s Bureau of Statistics says the country earned $14Million from 324,000Barrels of crude oil it exported from oilfields in Turkana County.

The government had devised an unusual production scheme, involving trucking of small volumes of crude from the oil fields in Turkana in the north of the country, to Mombasa, the southern coastal port town on the edge of the Indian Ocean.

The so-called Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) at Ngamia and Amosi fields was commissioned in June 2018. The scheme is operated as part of an agreement between the Kenyan Government and the E&P partners, including the operator Tullow Oil, TOTAL and Africa Oil Corp.

The Uhuru Kenyatta government said that the scheme was designed to comprehend the reservoirs’ flow assurance, prior to the commencement of full-blown commercial development

Kenya started exporting the commodity from Mombasa in August 2019, with the value of inaugural shipment of 200,000 barrels, bought by ChemChina UK Ltd, for an estimated $12Million.

The scheme “continued to register improved production with daily transportation, increasing from 600barrels of oil per day (BOPD) to 2,000BOPD  in the review period”, the Kenyan Bureau of Statistics said in the report: Kenyan Economic Survey 2020 released Tuesday April 28, 2020.

But in January 2020, which is outside the scope of the report, Tullow Oil reported it had suspended the transport of crude oil from Turkana to Mombasa due to incessant rains that caused severe damage to roads. While the scheme lasted, the London listed company used over 100 tankers to move 2,000 barrels per day over 1,000 kilometres.

The decision to call the trucks off the road meant that the government was unlikely to meet its shipment target of 500,000 barrels of oil.

Kenya had projected crude oil export target for this year at 500,000 barrels before the partial lockdowns related to COVID-19 pandemic were enforced.

In March 2019, President Kenyatta signed into Law the Petroleum Act of 2019, which allocates 75% of state-designated oil profits to the central government, 20% to oil-producing counties and five percent to local communities.

 


AfDB Is Not Supporting the East African Crude Oil Project

The African Development Bank has refuted the claims in a news article that it plans to provide financial support to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project.

It doesn’t name the medium, nor cite the headline, but says it “strongly refutes the claims in the misleading article, which references a letter by a group of civil society organizations and climate change advocates asking the institution to withdraw from the project due to its potential social and environmental damage”.

The facts, according to AfDB:

  1. The NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) has not provided financing to any Private Sector Company for upstream oil or gas pipeline projects in East Africa.
  2. No commitment was therefore made to any party to fund the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project. The project is not included in the Bank’s lending programme.
  3. The Bank is strongly committed to renewable energies.

Then the bank beats its chest

“It is important to point out that the African Development Bank Group has for more than a decade played a leading role in crafting policies and delivering investments that promote sustainable development practices on the continent, including climate adaptation and resilience.

“The Bank is committed to facilitating the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient development in African countries across all its operational priority areas”.

 


MOMAN Outlines Agenda to Take Nigeria Out of ‘Subsidy Trap’

Nigeria’s petroleum product marketers, under the aegis of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), have outlined a comprehensive agenda to take the nation out of the gasoline subsidy regime, which cost around $2Billion to service in the last one year.

The roadmap contains five clear messages, starting with the government divesting  the power to increase or decrease  petroleum prices, and including calls for annulling the Price Equalization Fund (PEF), discontinuation of Direct sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP)  programme, amending the law setting up the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and inaugurating an open access to foreign exchange to all petroleum product importers.

This radical blueprint of reforms, from one of the several stakeholders in Nigeria’s downstream sector, is contained in a statement by Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman of MOMAN.

In it, the association requests:

  • A fundamental and radical change in legislation is necessary. The clear and obvious risk is that the country has never been able to increase pump prices under the PPPRA Act, leading to high and unsustainable subsidies and depriving other key sectors of the economy of necessary funds.
  • Purchase costs and open market sales prices for petroleum products should not be fixed but monitored against anticompetitive and antitrust abuses by the already established competition commission and subject to its clearly stated rules and regulations.
  • A level playing field. Everybody should have access to foreign exchange at competitive rates to be able to import and sell petrol at a pump price taking its landing and distribution costs into consideration.
  • Discontinuation of the Direct sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP)  programme. All foreign exchange proceeds from all sales of crude be paid into the same pool from which all importers can access foreign exchange at the same rate.”
  • The Price Equalization Fund mechanism should be discontinued and its law repealed as the cost of administration of equalization has become too high and the unequal application of payments by marketers distorts the market and creates market inequities and unfair competition. Internal equalization has been the practice with diesel distribution and sales since 2010 when diesel was fully deregulated.
  • The pricing system should allow internal equalisation by marketers which would be both competitive and equitable.
  • Fuel import should enjoy priority access in allocation of foreign exchange, again through a transparent auditable and audited process of open bidding. Conditions for accessing foreign exchange should be streamlined and specific delays before access imposed unilaterally on the downstream oil industry should be discontinued as being inequitable.”

MOMAN said it was stating its position, in the context of the announcement by Timipre  Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, that the government would implement a policy of “price modulation”, which means, in MOMAN’s view, that the state will give effect to existing legislation enabling it to set prices in line with market realities through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) as provided in its Act.

“The clear and obvious risk is that the country has never been able to increase pump prices under this law, leading to high and unsustainable subsidies and depriving other key sectors of the economy of necessary funds”, MOMAN stated.

MOMAN admits that “there is no country or economy where governments do not have the power to influence prices”, however, “Governments use economic tools such as taxes or interventions on the demand side or the supply side of the market and other administrative interventions to influence prices where it needs to”.

“The problem here is that government has retained for itself by law the power and the responsibility to fix pump prices of PMS which is what puts it under so much pressure and costs the country so much in terms of under-recoveries or subsidies when it cannot increase prices when necessary to do so.

”It makes sense to relieve itself of this obligation now when crude prices are low and resort to influencing prices using the same tools it does for any other commodity or item on the market”.

“Our current situation, laid bare by the challenges of Coronavirus to the health of our citizens in particular and and economy of our country in general, demands that we are honest with ourselves at this time. A fundamental and radical change in legislation is necessary.

“When crude oil prices go up, government has always been unable to increase pump prices for socio-political reasons leading to these high subsidies and we believe the only solution is to remove the power of the government to determine fuel pump prices altogether by law.”

MOMAN recommends a legal and operational framework comprising of a downstream Industry operations regulator, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) or Competition Commission (for pricing issues) and the interplay between demand and supply which will ensure a level playing field, protect the Nigerian Consumer and curb any market abuse or attempts to deliberately cause inequities in the system by any stakeholder.

“In line with change management principles, consultation and engagement with market players should clearly spell out the path and final destination which is full price deregulation”.

 


OPEC still has an important role to play in Global Oil Market

By Sebastian Wagner

Scan Western news about OPEC from the last few years, and a common observation tends to appear: OPEC had a huge influence on the global oil market back in the day. Now, in the shale oil era, not so much.

I would argue that OPEC can safely state that reports of its death—or dwindling relevance—are greatly exaggerated. In fact, OPEC has been at the center of one of the biggest stories of 2020 aside from COVID-19: a historic deal that resolved the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

From 2016 to late March, the two oil powerhouses had been part of a loose alliance of OPEC members and non-member producers known as OPEC+. Its purpose was to stabilize the global oil market through voluntary production cuts. The alliance was a success until early this year, when COVID-19 effectively shut down China’s economy and dramatically reduced its crude oil imports. To restore market balance, OPEC member Saudi Arabia asked OPEC+ member Russia to increase its production cuts. When Russia refused, Saudi Arabia stopped complying with its own production cuts and, instead, started flooding the market with oil. Russia followed suit, and plans to renew the OPEC+ agreement on April 1 were abandoned. Crude oil prices went into freefall, and U.S. shale oil producers started struggling to survive. It didn’t help when COVID-19 began forcing lockdowns around the globe, resulting in plummeting demand for crude and even lower oil prices.

The world was watching closely when Saudi and Russian leaders attended an emergency OPEC/OPEC+ meeting on April 9. After three days of negotiations, OPEC and OPEC+ members agreed to massive production cuts starting with nearly 10 million barrels per day May 1. The cuts, which will gradually decrease, will continue through April 2022. While low demand remains a concern, by stabilizing the oil market, OPEC+ will still provide economic relief and save jobs around the world. Shortly after the product-cut agreement was finalized, exhausted Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman shared his exhilaration with Bloomberg News. “We have demonstrated that OPEC+ is up, running, and alive.”

Indeed. Both OPEC and OPEC+ are very much alive and as relevant as ever.

A New Era?

Despite the condescending descriptions of OPEC I’ve read in American media coverage, I am seeing signs that U.S. leaders are starting to look at OPEC with newfound respect. Even one of the organization’s most outspoken American critics, President Donald Trump, had generous words for OPEC the evening before its April 9 meeting. “Obviously for many years I used to think OPEC was very unfair,” Trump said during a press briefing. “I hated OPEC. You want to know the truth? I hated it. Because it was a fix. But somewhere along the line that broke down and went the opposite way.”

Then there’s Ryan Sitton of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the exploration, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas. He responded to the Saudi-Russia oil price war by reaching out to OPEC and proposing statewide oil production cuts. After a one-hour photo call with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo, Sitton was invited to attend OPEC’s June meeting in Vienna.

While I applaud Sitton’s initiative, I couldn’t help noticing what a departure it was from America’s usual “OPEC playbook.” U.S. energy policy has been driven by a strong desire to “free” the country’s oil and gas industry from OPEC’s influence. As recently as 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives attempted to pass the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) (https://bit.ly/3bpS3h5). Had this harmful bill been approved, the U.S. Attorney General would have been empowered to bring antitrust lawsuits against OPEC and its member countries. The legislation likely would have jeopardized foreign investments in the U.S. oil and gas industry and cost America valuable commercial partnerships.

How dramatically things have changed. Two years after NOPEC was proposed, we had a representative from the powerful Texas Railroad commission offering to work with OPEC to help balance the market.

While it’s unclear whether Texas will cut production, Sitton’s decision to open communication with OPEC is a positive, and I hope other U.S. industry leaders will consider the same. Instead of viewing OPEC as the enemy, dismissing it, or avoiding it, why not learn to understand this important organization and lay the foundation for a productive relationship?

Gaining Perspective

I suggest starting with Amazon’s bestselling book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, which includes a chapter titled “A Place at the Table: Africa and OPEC.” Yes, the chapter covers the value OPEC membership offers African nations, but its insights are relevant to everyone with ties to the oil and gas industry.

The background on OPEC’s 2016 Declaration of Cooperation is particularly timely. It was that agreement among OPEC producers and 11 non-members that resulted in OPEC+. For the first time in OPEC’s history, member countries agreed to work with non-member countries to stabilize the global oil market after increased U.S. shale oil production triggered low prices. Together, participating countries committed to voluntary production adjustments of 1.8 million barrels per day. Until the extraordinary chain of events set off by COVID-19, the OPEC+ alliance remained firmly in place.

The book also delves into the reasons OPEC membership has so much to offer African oil-producers: strength in numbers and a commitment to unity. “The organization says that every new member adds to the group’s stability and strengthens members’ commitment to one another,” the book explains. “Different perspectives create a rich culture where colleagues can learn from one another, anticipate and respond to the complexity of today’s oil markets, and ultimately, influence prices.”

It’s not always a seamless process, but OPEC continues to achieve those objectives. And as we go forward, this kind of unified approach will remain critical. Most likely, the global oil and gas industry will be forced to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 and low oil demand for an unknown period of time. Instead of working at cross purposes, oil-producing countries will need to continue cooperating to find solutions, embrace opportunities, and keep the industry alive.

Wagner is the Chair of the German African Business Forum and the CEO of DMWA Resources, a pan-African energy marketing & investment firm. Worked for Trafigura & affiliated companies in oil trading, responsible for managing trading operations and pursuing pre-financing opportunities in around Africa.


Austin Avuru: Three Hard Knocks in The School of Life

By Toyin Akinosho

Austin Avuru, Chief Executive of Seplat, Africa’s largest homegrown E&P firm, most vividly remembers the day the company lost the bid for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 in eastern Nigeria.

“That was one of our lowest points in this company because the acreage was going to be a company changing asset for us: it was going to give us the size that we seek”, Avuru reflected, in his office in Lagos, Nigeria, recently, as he prepared to celebrate a milestone that ties his own personal growth with Nigeria’s 60 year trajectory as an oil producing nation.

OML 29 is a sprawling, highly valuable property, spanning an area of 983 square kilometres (or 242,550 acres) onshore and holding some 2.2Billion barrels of oil equivalent, in proved and probable (P1+P2) reserves, in nine fields, according to a 2013 Competent Persons Report by NNS .

To put some context to the figures: Seplat, today, produces, on a gross basis, slightly higher than 60,000Barrels of crude oil and condensates and 400Million standard cubic feet of gas from five acreages, whereas OML 29 alone produces over 80,000BOPD, when there is no vandalism of evacuation pipeline.

“We had the cash on the table but we did not win OML 29. We were only a hundred million dollars away from Aiteo’s bid (to Shell, which was leading a divestment of itself, TOTAL and ENI from the tract). It was insignificant because we were talking about a $2.4Billion bid and $100Miilion was less than 5% of that, so it was insignificant”.

Avuru wonders whether the inability of Seplat to clinch OML 29 wasn’t due to “the politics of who Shell figured would more easily get the approval for the purchase” from the Nigerian government. “Otherwise they” (the company which won the asset) “couldn’t pay for one year after they got it, while we were going to write our cheque immediately because we had our money ready”.

It was the loss of OML29 that made such acreages as OMLs 25 and OML 55 important to Seplat, Avuru noted. “All these issues about OML 25 and OML 55 came because we lost the big fish”.

His disappointment about OML 29, Avuru explained, pales in comparison with a particular challenge he had faced when he was building Platform Petroleum, a marginal field operator. This was before he helped bring Platform, Shebah Exploration and M&P together to create Seplat.

“The biggest setback was the day I woke up and found out that cellar of the appraisal development well that we were drilling in Umutu had collapsed. We borrowed $10Miilion to drill that well and supplemented with our cash and in the end, the well cost us $19Million. We borrowed $20Million for the gas processing plant and our production was declining and we couldn’t borrow more. We were almost in the throes of death. This was in 2009 and that was when I scratched my head and thought ‘this is it’. The only thing that came to our aid eventually was the pipeline network that we had built all by ourselves to the cluster”, he recalled, referring to  a cluster of four oil fields in the Western Niger Delta, which evacuate their crudes into Platform’s facility. “The Ase River Pipeline was generating about $2Miilion in gross revenue in tariff every year. So that revenue stream was enough to negotiate a revolving credit facility with Skye Bank for $5Million. It was that money that we eventually used to work our way back to life”.

Not all of the huge regrets of Avuru’s life in the last 15 years were business related.

“One of the biggest potholes I have had was the day I lost my wife in 2005 after the two of us had inspected the site where we (Platform Petroleum) were building our flow station in Umutu and so on”.

Avuru remarried, several years later, and then this:

“And then the day I had to open my kitchen door to inform my wife that her 57-year-old father, who had been accidentally shot by a police man and was in the hospital, had died.

“I think those were probably my lowest points in the past 15 years”.

Otherwise, much of the path Avuru had travelled, since he left the NNPC in 1992, had been strewn with gold.

At least, so it seems.

Since he left NNPC as a star geoscientist (by his own account), Avuru had worked for Kase Lawal’s Allied Energy (which became Erin Energy, and has since ceased to be a going concern) and moved on to set up Platform Petroleum, from which platform he became the Chief Executive of Seplat, the only African indigenous E&P Company to be listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange.

In the last 12 years he had been nominated by two successive Nigerian Ministers of Petroleum for the position of the Director of Petroleum Resources and had come terribly close to being appointed to the position of Group Managing Director of the NNPC, the hugely influential state hydrocarbon company. “I had a one-on-one interview with (President) Yar’Adua”.

To mark his 60th birthday on Friday, August 17, 2018, Seplat Petroleum’s management wove a theme around the fact that Avuru was born in the year that Nigeria first exported crude oil. An industry stakeholders lecture, at a princely venue overlooking the Atlantic, entitled 60 Years After: Preparing For A Nigeria Without Oil, was attended by over 300 people, a glittering gathering featuring the country’s top business brass, C-Suite level petroleum executives, energy bureaucrats and ranking politicians.

Full details of Austin Avuru’s career trajectory, his misses and hits, as well as blinding insights into how the world of petroleum E&P works in Africa’s largest hydrocarbon producer, is published in the August 2018 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report. Please click here…

This publication wishes him many more fruitful years in the service of his country.

 


Brand New Rigs For Angolan Deepwater

Angola will host two of the 60 brand new rigs expected to be deployed worldwide in 2010. Saipem 12000 is one of Saipem’s three rigs due to leave the yard this year — one drillship and two semisubmersibles — all of which are contracted. The Saipem 12000 drillship is under construction in the Samsung yard in South Korea and is expected to leave the yard by February 2010. It will work for TOTAL off Angola through February 2017, at an undisclosed dayrate Transocean has four drillships under construction; all of which are contracted. One of them, The Discoverer Luanda is an enhanced Enterprise class rig. It will be completed in early-2010 and go to work for BP off Angola for seven years ending in 2017 in the low- $430s.

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