By Sebastine Obasi
The local content initiative of the Federal Government appears to be yielding results as an indigenous company, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Limited has achieved a record 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil production, just one year after its acquisition of oil mining lease, OML, 29, known to be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest onshore oil block.
Aiteo, which operates as an integrated energy company focuses on the businesses of exploration and production, bulk petroleum storage, refining of petroleum products, trading, petroleum products marketing and supply, and power generation and distribution.
Aiteo had acquired OML 29 in September, 2015 when oil major Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) fully divested from the facility. At the time of the divestment, it was learnt that the average production was 23,000bpd. But Aiteo has tripled this figure leveraging the diversity and skills of its work force and bona fides as a dynamic international energy conglomerate.
In what industry sources described as one of the most competitive bids, Aiteo won the 45 percent rights on offer on OML 29. The remaining 55 percent is held by the Federal Government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. Aiteo is the operator of the Joint Venture.
According to the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman, Benedict Peters, the company grew production from 25,000bpd upon takeover of operations to a peak of 90,000bpd in one year. He explained that there are several existing and developing projects that could potentially grow Aiteo’s asset production to over 150,000bpd and 200 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
He stated: “Our outlook is bright with three producing oil fields and viable crude exports through Bonny Terminal. We also have contingent resources to appraise and prospective ones to explore in the medium to long term, including full 3D coverage and 2P NNS reserves at 1.6 billion barrels.”
Peters further explained that Aiteo’s five-year plan includes tackling the power challenges in Nigeria through its legacy investments in the gas-to-power value chain. “This is a testament to our commitment to the transformation of the entire oil and gas value chain into a world-class landscape,” he said.
Apart from that, Aiteo is said to be developing a pipeline of power generation projects across Nigeria. The company believes that its significant gas resources at OML 29 will transform the country’s oil rich Niger Delta region into a power generation hub of repute before long.
Aiteo is a major infrastructure provider for Nigeria’s oil industry as the operator of the 97 kilometer, Nembe Creek Trunk Line, an industry-wide evacuation pipeline for produced fluids covering much of the country’s Eastern Delta region.
Also, Aiteo’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Chike Onyejekwe stated: “Our growth drivers remain strong leadership, high commitment and motivation, technical and commercial excellence and superior asset base. In the next five years, our operations will continue to be guided by these qualities as we leverage our capabilities comparable to oil majors elsewhere in the world.”