21 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos- Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited (CEPL), a member of the Century Group of companies, have sealed a farm-in agreement on the Atala field in Oil Mining Licence (OML) 46.
Under the arrangement, Century Exploration has acquired a 35 per cent equity interest and 80 per cent working interest on the field, which was declared a marginal field as part of the Nigerian government’s marginal field programme.
It was farmed out in 2003 from the previous owners – Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) – to BOCL, which acquired 100 per cent of the equity in the field and was designated as the operator. BOCL subsequently farmed out a 20 per cent equity stake in the field to Hardy Oil and Gas Plc.
As part of the new acquisition, CEPL has agreed to finance a review of existing technical data on the field, the re-entry and testing of the existing well and the drilling of one new well in order to put the field on production, as soon as possible, once the requisite governmental approvals are secured.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Chairman of the Century Group of Companies and Chief Executive Officer of CEPL, Ken Etete said: “This is a landmark transaction for CEPL as we seek to leverage our group’s long experience in the oil services business to develop a strong portfolio of assets in the upstream oil and gas sector.”
According to him, “we are committed to deepening the level of indigenous ownership, capacity and production in Nigeria and CEPL was established to achieve that vision. This acquisition marks the first stage in a series of acquisitions that we hope to conclude as we develop a strong and varied portfolio of assets over the coming years.”
Chairman of BOCL, Ambassador Sookore Egbuson said of the development: “We are delighted to welcome CEPL to join us in developing the Atala field.”