By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Heirs Holdings (HH) an affiliate of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has acquired 45 per cent participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 from Shell Petroleum, Total and ENI.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Chike Anikwe, Acting Group Company Secretary, Transcorp made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
According to the statement, the transaction is one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of $1.1 billion, provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors.
It said that the transaction was through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), which will have sole oparatorshio of the asset from Shell Petroleum Development Nigeria Plc, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI.
Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, said in the statement: “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,” he said.
Elumelu further said: “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,” he noted.
Speaking on the investment, Mr Owen Omogiafo, the President and Group Chief Executive Officer, of Transcorp, said that the transaction was an evidence of the company’s strategy to power Africa.
“This deal further demonstrates Transcorp’s integrated energy strategy and our determination to power Africa.”
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.
According to the statement, OML 17 has a current production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and, according to our estimates, 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.
The investment demonstrates an advance in the execution of Heirs Holdings’ integrated energy strategy and the Group’s commitment to Africa’s development, through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.
Heirs Holdings’ heritage and approach to business fundamentally underscores its commitment to inclusive development and shared prosperity with its host communities. Heirs Holdings is fully invested in the development of the Niger Delta region.
The statement also reported that Heirs Holdings’ strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa is executed through a series of strategic portfolio holdings.
Transcorp is one of the largest power producers in Nigeria, with 2,000 MW of installed capacity, through ownership of Transcorp Power Plant and the recent acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited.
Transcorp closed the US$300 million Afam acquisitions in November 2020. Transcorp supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, as part of an emphasis on promoting regional integration and delivering robust power supply to catalyse development in Africa.
Transcorp also operates OPL281, under a production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”).
Similarly, Heirs Holdings’ subsidiary, Tenoil is the operator of OPL 2008, under a production sharing contract with NNPC.
Tenoil also owns the Ata Marginal Field, which will commence production in Q2, 2021, with 3,500 barrels of oil per day.