Orient Petroleum Partners Àrgentil, Dharmattan on Gas Development in Anambra Basin


Ejiofor Alike

Orient Petroleum Resources Plc (OPR) and First Modular Gas Systems Limited (FMGSL), a natural gas processing and marketing company, have signed a gas processing, Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA), establishing the contractual and commercial terms for the development of the first phase of a gas processing plant at Orient Petroleum’s Anambra River oil and gas field, located in the Anambra Basin.

FMGSL is a midstream gas portfolio company jointly owned by Àrgentil Capital Management Limited (ACML) and Dharmattan Gas Facilities Limited (Dharmattan) to develop gas processing clusters to deliver gas to the domestic market.

The Anambra Basin is estimated to have significant gas deposits and contains the Oriental Petroleum- operated Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPLs) 915 and 916.

Speaking on the partnership, the Chairman of Oriental Petroleum, Chief Emeka Anyaoku said the agreement was an important step to monetise the hydrocarbon resources in Anambra Basin.

“I am delighted with this agreement, which represents an important step to monetise the Anambra River field hydrocarbon resources. This agreement was made possible by the close cooperation and deep commitment of OPR and FMGSL,” Anyaoku said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Orient Petroleum, Mr. Sunny Okoye, added that the partnership would result in a cost-effective development that would ensure zero gas-flaring and also promote a cleaner, safer and healthier environment.

Under the agreement, the first phase, expected within six months, involves the initial production and processing of five million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas into Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), with incremental volumes coming on stream as more wells are drilled in the acreages held by Orient Petroleum.

Both parties are keen to ensure a doubling of capacity by the end of the second year. The gas produced will add to Nigeria’s domestic gas supply.

The Managing Director of ACML, Mr. Gbenga Hassan, said the partnership was as an immediate value-creating response to the need for monetisation of currently stranded or flared gas.

On his part, the Managing Director of Dharmattan Mr. Bashir Koledoye, stated that his company assists indigenous oil and gas producers recover value from their gas and at the same time support the drive by the federal government to increase the consumption of LPG for household cooking to replace kerosene and firewood.

FMGSL plans to develop similar processing facilities across Nigeria to make available cheaper and cleaner sources of fuel for domestic power generation and household cooking. ACML and Dharmattan created FMGSL to leverage off their respective project financing and execution capabilities in the gas sector.

Dharmattan currently operates as a marketer of LPG with 31 distribution channels across Nigeria and is part of the Dharmattan Group which also provides geological and geo-physical consulting and technical services to many upstream companies.

By the terms of the agreement, Dharmattan would provide the technical project development, O&M and LPG marketing, while ACML would provide the required financing and strategic positioning for the company.
The Deputy Managing Director of Orient Petroleum, Mr. Iyke Akuezumba, noted that the technical and financing capability of the shareholders in FMGSL was a key consideration for OPR in selecting the company as its partner to develop the processing plants.

ACML is a member of the Àrgentil Group, which is a principal investing, asset management and advisory firm with a focus on energy, infrastructure and real estate.
Àrgentil has acted as financial adviser and/or lead arranger for over $3 billion in completed financing for energy projects.

ACML is currently raising a $200 million private equity fund that will invest in similar gas monetisation and gas-to-power projects across West and Central Africa.