NIGERIA – Seplat Petroleum and Development Company Plc has said it is committed to acquiring more oil and gas assets in the exploration and production space, and to its organic growth.

The Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, Mr Austin Avuru, disclosed this in Lagos at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) January Technical/Business Meeting on mergers, acquisitions and divestments.

According to Avuru, a key mandate of the company is to leverage opportunities in the oil and gas industry through acquisition of more oil and gas assets.

Addressing stakeholders at the NAPE meeting, Avuru said the company had positioned itself as an early mover through the acquisition of a 45 per cent operated interest in Oil Mining Lease 4, 38 and 41 from Shell, Total and Agip in 2010.

He described Seplat as the first Nigerian independent to acquire a package of oil and gas blocks directly from the major international oil companies as part of a disposal process.

According to a Seplat statement, the company further grew its portfolio through the acquisition of a 40 per cent interest in the Oil Prospecting Licence 283 marginal field area from Pillar Oil, and acquired further interests in OML 53 and OML 55 from Chevron Nigeria Limited in 2015.

The statement also said the company grew production at OMLs 4, 38 and 41 from 14,000 barrels of oil per day as at acquisition to a peak rate of over 84,000 bopd.

Avuru said the company had demonstrated its ability to work its assets and produce its reserves despite external negative factors such as downtime and losses.

He said, “Seplat also began to invest in its gas business in 2010 in response to the Nigerian Government’s initiatives to improve the debilitating impact of poor power generation and supply in the country by opening the Domestic Supply Obligation pricing to market forces.

Seplat also announced the completion of its acquisition of Eland Oil and Gas Plc in December in a bid to bolster its gas operations.

“We are strategically positioned to access Nigeria’s main demand centres with current well stock delivering around 300MMscfd (gross),” Avuru said.

The guest speaker at the meeting, Mr Mascot Ogunjemiyo, who highlighted the various merger and acquisition cases in the Nigerian oil and gas industry so far, said mergers, acquisitions and divestments in the industry were capable of promoting efficiency and further drive growth.

Seplat was formed in June 2009 through the partnership of Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Platform Petroleum Joint Ventures Limited.

The company was formed to specifically pursue upstream oil and gas opportunities in Nigeria, and in particular, divestment opportunities arising out of the incumbent Major IOC’s portfolios.