Nigeria indigenous oil firm woo investors on ANOH gas project

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Petroleum Development Company Plc has described the Assa North-Ohaji South (ANOH) gas processing project as bankable and capable of boosting Nigeria’s domestic gas supply significantly.

A Seplat team led by the company’s chief executive officer, Austin Avuru, while giving a presentation on the company’s gas business to investors, sector and financial analysts during its 2019 Capital Markets Day at the London Stock Exchange, London, recently, said the market’s gas price remains strong and the long-term outlook for gas in Nigeria and the regional market remain strong.

The ANOH gas processing project is managed by Anoh Gas Processing Company (AGPC), an incorporated joint venture (IJV) between Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company. AGPC seeks to develop a 300 Mscfd midstream plant on OML 53 to process future wet gas production from the upstream unit.

During his presentation, Avuru highlighted that the ANOH gas processing plant will be the first stand-alone midstream joint venture business between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and a company in the private sector.

With the ANOH project, Seplat aims to be the largest supplier of gas to the domestic market. The Seplat CEO added that: “By the time we commission the ANOH project, we will be able to produce 850 Mscfd.

“Overall, the gas business was not attractive in 2010 and some years after. Seplat, however, took a conscious decision to invest in the gas business upon the price of gas inching up as ‘willing buyer willing seller’ commercial terms became possible. The company is uniquely situated within the existing gas pipeline network and therefore leveraged on this to significantly expand its Oben gas plant. The revenues from the expanded Oben gas plant has been impressive motivating the company to seek further investment in gas.”

He explained that the company’s gas is for the domestic market, quipping that Nigeria has a notable population which is projected to continue to grow to 450 million people by 2050. “This will represent the highest population growth in Africa, and Nigeria is the third most populated country globally behind China and India. Evidently, the current capacity for electricity generation cannot be adequate,” he said.

“Thus, Seplat has strategically positioned itself ahead of that opportunity and with projected demand for gas and improved fiscal regime, there is a compelling case for gas. Displacing diesel in Nigeria’s environment is a priority for the company. Currently, Seplat gas accounts for 30 to 35 percent of the power generated and the company is determined to continue the lead in this area.”

“For Seplat, our gas business is a national project. As a result, facilitating gas to power and gas to the industry have become critical for the company.

The Operations Director, Seplat, Effiong Okon, stressed that the successful delivery of Oben midstream plant expansion will be replicated at ANOH, pointing that as demand for gas continues to outstrip available supply, Seplat will continue to be strategically positioned to capitalise on future expansion of the gas business.

The General Manager, Seplat, Okey Mba, further highlighted the business case for the company’s gas business and demonstrated how the company would derive and deliver more benefits with its gas business. He maintained that the economics of switching from diesel to gas-fired power generation is compelling.

The Managing Director of AGPC, Yetunde Taiwo and the Project Manager Doug Kinloch, in separate interviews, provided comprehensive information on the ANOH project, highlighting project development overview, contracting and Local Content strategy, regulatory compliance, the commercial structure, community management and project execution schedule, amongst others.

The CFO, Roger Brown provided highlights on the funding structure showing that the company proactively is addressing debt investors and funding considerations upfront to ensure the success of the project. He added that the company has received a significant show of interest with major key stakeholders, both from international and local banks, amongst others.

Responding, some members of the audience commended the company on its foresight with its gas business.

The CEO in his closing remarks stated that: “The market gas price remains strong and the long term outlook for gas in Nigeria and the regional market remain strong. Seplat is participating in major national development with its gas business, and the company is delighted to, through its gas business, deliver major national priority while earning revenue.”

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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