23 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Mayfair Assets and Trust Limited, a subsidiary of Lekoil will receive a 17.4. percent economic interest in OPL 310 following conditional Ministerial consent by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources
The decision was made with the support of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with the consent granted to Mayfair by Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu; the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on 24 October 2016.
However, the consent will be effective upon Mayfair’s payment of 2.5 per cent of the transaction purse to the Federal Government and the signing of an Agreement with the Operator.
Engr. Yusuf K.J. N’Jie; Managing Director/CEO, Optimum Petroleum said; “Optimum Petroleum is pleased to announce progress on the resolution of the issues in relation to OPL 310 development and has pledged to continue its efforts to bring yet another Benin Basin field into production following the successful development of the Aje field on OML 113.
The forthcoming appraisal and development work on OPL 310 is expected to commence in 2017 and should contribute to the production oil and gas reserves supporting the industrial development and energy needs of Lagos State and the petroleum industry of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In line with the Ministerial guidance on this issue, Optimum Petroleum is said remains resolute in finalising the Agreement for the 17.14 per cent assignment and to define the rights and obligations of both parties for the optimal development of OPL 310 without further delay.
However, according to further details, the operator can make no assurances for the successful completion as negotiations have been ongoing since 2013 and plans for a well to be spudded in early 2016 were not completed. To date, it is revealed that Optimum Petroleum has not executed an Agreement nor received payments as detailed in a 24 October 2015 non-binding term sheet.
It would be recalled that effective 29 July 2015, Optimum Petroleum terminated all agreements with Afren including its role as technical adviser and the Joint Operating Agreement due to material breaches of Afren’s undertakings and obligations on OPL 310 operations. Regulatory filings regarding the termination were executed with Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR on 3 August 2015.
Optimum the Indigenous Operator entered agreements with Afren PLC a UK oil company in 2008 and its Nigerian Subsidiary Afren Investments Oil and Gas Ltd.
Following, Afren’s protracted funding challenges since 2013 and inability to drill and finally in conjunction with the entering of Afren PLC into UK insolvency and Administration, in July 2015, the Operator terminated all Material Contracts with Afren and its subsidiaries for the breach of all its financial and technical obligations to progress the Asset and duly informed the Department of Petroleum Resources.
Optimum Petroleum had filed a claim in the Federal Republic of Nigeria for $2.5 billion against Afren for recovery of financial losses due to the material breach of its obligations in the development of OPL 310.