By Prince Okafor
Nigeria’s indigenous oil and gas exploration and production company, Lekoil, said it has reached an agreement with Optimum Petroleum Development Company, the Operator of the OPL 310 License, on deferring the company’s financial and operational obligations due in February 2020.
As previously announced, pursuant to the Cost Recovery and Sharing Agreement, Lekoil was required to pay a portion of Optimum’s sunk costs and consent fees (previously estimated at $10 million) as well as provide evidence of its ability to fund 42.86 per cent of the costs and expenses for the drilling of the first appraisal well during February 2020 (estimated at a further $28 million).
However, in a statement made available to Vanguard, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Lekoil, Lekan Akinyanmi, stated that, “We remain excited about the opportunities of OPL 310 and are focused on securing the necessary funding under the revised schedule.
“We are grateful for the support and commitment shown by our partner Optimum, the Operator of the OPL 310 License. This alignment with our partner is crucial in unlocking significant value for all our investors and stakeholders.”
Moreso, Optimum and LEKOIL have agreed the final payment of $9.6 million to Optimum which covers sunk costs and consent fees as follows: The sum of $2.0 million to be paid on or before 20 March 2020; the sum of $7.6 million to be paid on or before 2 May 2020.
Optimum and LEKOIL have also agreed that the obligation for LEKOIL to provide evidence of its ability to fund 42.86 per cent of the costs and expenses for the drilling of the first appraisal well on OPL 310 be deferred until July 2020.
Speaking on behalf of Optimum, the company’s Managing Director, Engr. Yusuf K. N’jie, said: “We are pleased to continue to support LEKOIL by deferring their obligations which were due this quarter. We remain confident in LEKOIL’s ability to by July this year, raise the financing that is required for the commencement of the appraisal drilling programme for OPL 310 which we truly believe is a world class strategic asset.”