Kunle Kalejaye 30 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Indigenous operator, Optimum Petroleum Development Limited, says it will commence appraisal and development work on its OPL 310 asset together with partners next year.
The appraisal and development work will contribute to the production of oil and gas reserves, “supporting the industrial development and energy needs of Lagos State and the petroleum industry of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” the company said.
The company recently granted its minority partner, Mayfair Assets and Trust Limited – a subsidiary of Lekoil Limited – a 17.14 per cent economic interest in Oil Prospecting OPL 310
It stated that the decision was made with the consent of Ministry of Petroleum Resources subject to Mayfair’s payment of 2.5 per cent of the transaction cost to the Federal Government and the signing of an agreement with the operator.
It added that in line with the Ministerial guidance on this issue, it remained “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, Optimum Petroleum has not executed an agreement nor received payments as detailed in a 24 October 2015 non-binding term sheet.
“Optimum Petroleum is pleased to announce progress on the resolution of the issues in relation to OPL 310 development and has pledged to continue in its efforts to bring yet another Benin Basin field into production following the successful development of the Aje field on OML 113,” Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Optimum Petroleum, Yusuf K.J. N’Jie said.
It would be recalled that effective July 29, 2015, Optimum Petroleum terminated all agreements with Afren, including its role as technical adviser and the joint operating agreement with the company 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 August 3, 2015.
Optimum had 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, added to Afren Plc entering into insolvency and administration in the UK in July 2015, the operator terminated all 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 said it had filed a claim in 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.