Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, a joint venture company of Eland Oil & Gas Plc, an oil and gas production, development and exploration company operating in Nigeria has announced it has obtained approval from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to operate OML 40 thus taking it over from NPDC. See press release;
Eland Oil & Gas PLC (AIM: ELA), an oil & gas production, development and exploration company operating in West Africa with an initial focus on Nigeria, is pleased to announce its joint venture company Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (“Elcrest”) has received confirmation from the Department of Petroleum Resources (the “DPR”) that Elcrest has fulfilled its obligations, including the payment of the requisite premium and fees of $2.3m to the DPR, in relation to Elcrest’s appointment as operator of OML 40 for a minimum 10 year period.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources has in turn advised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”) to proceed with the finalisation of the Joint Operator Model Agreement with Elcrest in respect of OML 40 as approved by the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The Joint Operating Model Agreement has been fully drafted and is currently under review by all parties. Signing of the agreement is expected in the coming weeks. George Maxwell, CEO of Eland Oil & Gas commented: “We are delighted to have received consent from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for Elcrest’s appointment as operator of OML 40. It only remains to complete a revised joint operating agreement between Elcrest and NPDC when a further announcement will be made.”
NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, had in 2011 been assigned NNPC’s 55 per cent equity in eight assets divested by Shell, retaining the operatorship of most of the assets. They are OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 40, 41 and 42. However, according to Thisday, the inability of the NPDC to fully develop all oil fields under its control had limited the expansion of the nation’s oil and gas industry, citing experts’ views. They thus recommended that indigenous private firms with capacity and expertise should be granted the right to operate those assets to ramp up exploration and production in the country.
Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited was founded by Leslie Blair a former Managing Director of Addax Petroleum Middle East Limited based in Dubai. He also spent 13 years with Addax Nigeria.