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HomeBusinessElumelu Makes Bold Move With 45% Acquisition Of OML 17 In $1.1bn...

Elumelu Makes Bold Move With 45% Acquisition Of OML 17 In $1.1bn Deal

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By Babajide Okeowo

In a landmark move reputed to be one of the largest oil and gas financing deal in Africa, Heirs Holdings, in partnership with Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, on Friday announced the “unconditional acquisition” of a 45 per cent participating interest in Oil Mining License, OML 17 through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited, their associated company.

The acquisition also includes all assets of the previous owners — Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) (30 per cent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 per cent) and ENI (five per cent) — in the lease.

TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have sole operatorship of the OML, it was further announced.

Heirs Holdings and Transcorp are both chaired by Tony Elumelu, who is also the chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, he expressed his excitement about the deal.

 “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.

As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.

I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us” Elumelu said after the announcement of the deal.

Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as global coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm Amundi.

The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner, as well as the trading arm of Shell as an offtaker.

The field currently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

There are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.

The transaction is reputed as one of the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in more than a decade.

A financing component of $1.1 billion is provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors, the new owners said in a statement.

On his part, Owen Omogiafo, president/ group CEO of Transcorp, said: “This deal further demonstrates Transcorp’s integrated energy strategy and our determination to power Africa.”

Osagie Okunbor, managing director of SPDC and country chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, said: “As with previous divestments, we will facilitate a successful transition to new ownership. Shell has been in Nigeria for over 60 years and remains committed to a long-term presence here.”

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