About 10 Nigerian independent companies are said to be currently in the final battle for the acquisition of Chevron Nigeria’s 40per cent stake in three Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 52, 53 and 55 located in the Eastern Niger Delta, following the failure of over 20 other bidders to scale through the first round of the deal, THISDAY has learnt.
It was gathered that the 10 successful companies emerged after the July 29, 2013 deadline for submission of the indicative offers for the three assets, which contain proven oil and gas reserves of 555million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).
Though the identities of all the successfully companies could not be ascertained at the weekend, THISDAY gathered that Seplat and Sogenal Limited were among the successful bidders.
Seplat was formed in 2009 by two Nigerian Exploration and Production (E & P) companies – Shebah E & P and Platform Petroleum as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the acquisition of 45per cent interest in Oil Mining Licenses 4, 38 and 41, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
A French independent energy company, Maurel & Prom, acquired 45per cent equity in Seplat while Shebah E &P & Platform retained 55per cent to maintain the company’s indigenous status.
Sogenal Limited, a 100per cent independent E & P company incorporated in 1992, currently operates the Akepo field, which is located in OML 90.
The field was initially leased to the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture with Chevron as the operator but later farmed out to Sogenal in 2004.
Shell Nigeria did not submit bid for the three acreages as a package but was said to have submitted bid for only OML 53, which holds proven reserves of 299MMOE.
Chevron Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation of the United States had stated that it would divest interests in the three Nigerian oil blocks.
The company said the transaction would be handled by French bank, BNP Paribas.
Information from This Day was used in this report.