With the emergence of the Nigeria’s marginal field programme, authorities are concerned that the general pattern for Nigerian independents is to win the license and “hawk” it to a foreign technical partner. Last year, Starcrest created a splash in the international media when it negotiated a sign on fee of $90million for a deepwater license with Addax Petroleum and paid $55million as signature bonus, “pocketing” $35 million in the process. Much earlier, South Atlantic Petroleum which already had Total as 40% partner in its OML 130, ceded 40% of its remaining 60% to CNOOC for over $2billion. Nigerian authorities worry about these precedence which points to the fact that the indigenous companies are seeking passive partnership in the event of such undertakings, meaning that they will not train more Nigerian technical personnel, they will not grow more Nigerians strategic managers and the goals of the local content programme is further jeopardised.
For every Ten Nigerian Companies like Starcrest and South Atlantic, there is at least one who wants to do work and grow capacity like Conoil, or Niger Delta Petroleum. One such company is Platform Petroleum Limited, which was about to get to first oil at its Asuokpu/Umutu field as of the time of our going to press. Nearly four years after the award of 24 marginal fields to some 30 Nigerian indigenous companies, financial and technical challenges – especially the former – have remained major hurdles on the journey to first oil. But unlike most others in the scheme who have been shopping the globe for interested technical and financial suitors, Platform and Newcross Petroleum Limited, its Nigerian partners (who have 40% interest in the project) brought this field onstream without any foreign funding or foreign technical partnering. A role Newcross Petroleum Limited solely handled during the initial phases of the partnership.
For further information on how Newcross Petroleum Limited played a role in the successful operation of the Umutu Field operation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Culled from Independents in Africa Magazine 2009