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Seplat, ExxonMobil Deal Positive for Economy—Wood Mackenzie

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Seplat Energy Plc on February 25 announced an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.

In its recent insight, Wood Mackenzie, a trusted intelligence provider that empowers decision-makers with unique insights on the world’s natural resources said in the energy transition era, both ExxonMobil and Seplat will be pleased with the deal, adding that the deal offers huge upside for oil as well as gas.

Also, Wood Mackenzie, the leading research and consultancy business for the global energy, power and renewable, resurface, chemicals, metals and mining industry, said because this deal is a corporate acquisition, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has no rights to pre-empt a deal under the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), which governs the JV, rather than ministerial consent would be the only hurdle remaining, “although nothing can be taken for granted”.

MPNU has a 40 per cent operated interest in a Joint Venture with NNPC (60 per cent). The JV includes OMLs 67, 68, 70, 104, the Qua Iboe oil export terminal. MPNU also has a 51percent interest in the Bonny River NGL Recovery project.

Seplat has agreed to pay $1,283 million, plus contingent consideration of up to $300 million. The effective date is 1 January 2021 and completion is expected in H2 2022, pending ministerial approval. Seplat’s debt financing of $825 million is fully committed by a syndicate of Nigerian and African banks, and energy and commodity traders.

Implications: If it completes, the deal will be transformational for Seplat Energy. It is already the leading indigenous company in Nigeria, but this will triple its working interest production to over 140,000 boe/d. In total, Seplat will operate 15percent of Nigerian oil production.

Crucially, the deal diversifies its operations into shallow water, which is largely devoid of the thefts afflicting its onshore operations. Although this is Seplat’s first offshore acquisition, it will acquire all of MPNU’s Nigerian staff, thus allaying any concerns about its operational capabilities.

Valuation

Our equity-based valuation of MPNU – excluding the Qua Iboe terminal – is $870 million (discounted 10 per cent, January 2021, $50/bbl long-term).

However, at $70/bbl, we value the company at $1.678 billion. In the energy transition era, ExxonMobil will be pleased with this deal. But so will Seplat, as the deal offers huge upside for oil as well as gas.

The portfolio includes a massive 1.3 billion boe of contingent resources, 75 per cent of which is gas. Less than half of its 70 fields have been developed. Although the JV has been in production since the early 1970s, its maturity relates more to the extensive infrastructure than the reservoirs themselves. Yes, many fields are in decline, but they have also been under-invested for over 20 years.

Seplat has built a business turning around the Majors’ unwanted assets, a process it started in 2010. With the acquisition, its portfolio becomes very oil dominated. ExxonMobil refused to be drawn into the high-risk domestic gas market and had no exposure to NLNG. As a result, the acreage has the highest concentration of gas flaring in the country. Seplat, a listed company, will need to tackle this immediately.

Longer-term it will look to develop access into the domestic market in line with government policy, while there is also scope for LNG too. An FLNG project at Yoho on OML 104 was already under discussion before the deal.

That could now accelerate, while long-term supply to NLNG is another option.

There is also a possible upside from the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) fiscal terms. Our analysis shows the JV portfolio would more than double in value if Seplat converts. However, this is far from certain, since it would have to relinquish up to 60percent of its acreage and much of the resource it has just acquired. A thorough review of its now extensive portfolio to identify the most advantaged barrels will be an urgent priority. The deadline for converting to the new fiscal terms is February 2023.

The deal is not without risks either. Seplat will have to find billions of dollars in the longer term to transform its portfolio and some rationalisation could follow. NNPC will of course be Seplat’s JV partner, and its ability to fund its 60 per cent equity longer term as it transitions to a limited liability company will be just as critical to the success of the deal.

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has been planning to sell its JV business for years, and its exit is overdue. The shallow water JV assets have long been non-core and are some of the highest-cost barrels in its global portfolio.

Although emissions were not a key driver for selling, the deal will help with its recently announced net-zero targets for scope 1 and 2 emissions.

The portfolio has an intensity of 48 kgCO2e/boe, more than double its global average.

It can now focus on renegotiating workable fiscal terms for its Nigerian deepwater assets like Erha and Usan. However, if that does not end successfully, a country exit could be on the cards, given its deepwater options in Guyana and Brazil.

No NNPC pre-emption

Because this is a corporate acquisition, NNPC has no right to pre-empt a deal under the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), which governs the JV. This means that ministerial consent would be the only hurdle remaining, although nothing can be taken for granted.

Shell’s ongoing divestment of its subsidiary SPDC, similarly rules out pre-emption. If NNPC wants to acquire that portfolio, then it will have to out-bid the competition. If successful in raising up to $5 billion with Afrexim Bank it would have the firepower to do just that, and massively strengthen its position in the onshore delta.

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Economy

Market Gains 0.12% on Interests in Guinness, FBNH, Cadbury Nigeria

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By Dipo Olowookere

Interests in the shares of Guinness Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, FBN Holdings and others lifted the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.12 per cent on Friday.

From analysis of the trading data, the consumer goods, banking and energy sectors saw significant bargain hunting activities during the session, leaving their respective index closing higher by 0.57 per cent, 0.41 per cent, and 0.03 per cent.

However, the insurance counter witnessed a pocket of profit-taking as its index went down by 0.09 per cent, while the industrial goods sector closed the way it opened for the session.

When the bourse finish for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 59.33 points to settle at 49,024.16 points compared with the previous day’s 48,964.83 points as the market capitalisation finished N32 billion higher to N26.452 trillion from N26.420 trillion.

The market breadth was positive yesterday, with 17 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a strong investor sentiment.

RT Briscoe appreciated by 9.68 per cent to trade at 34 Kobo, May and Baker rose by 9.63 per cent to N4.10, Guinness Nigeria improved by 9.29 per cent to N82.90, Jaiz Bank climbed higher by 8.43 per cent to 90 Kobo, and UPDC expanded by 8.42 per cent to N1.03.

At the other side of the table, Ikeja Hotel was on top after its value crashed by 9.68 per cent to N1.12, Sovereign Trust Insurance fell by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, NAHCO dropped 3.51 per cent to sell for N5.50, UPDC REIT went down by 3.13 per cent to N3.10, and Neimeth depreciated by 2.10 per cent to N1.40.

Business Post reports that the level of activity improved on the last trading session of the week as the trading volume, value and number of deals increased by 61.58 per cent, 65.96 per cent and 3.67 per cent, respectively.

This was because investors transacted 356.7 million shares worth N3.7 billion in 3,219 deals as against the 220.8 million shares worth N2.3 billion transacted on Thursday in 3,105 deals.

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Economy

Nigeria at 62: Buhari Says Borrowing Necessary for Growth

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Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Adedapo Adesanya

In what would be his last Independence Day address, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, defended his government’s borrowing policy, describing it as a necessary step to provide the infrastructure that would expand opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Buhari stated in the address to the country on October 1, 2022, that, “The federal government is already expanding port operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.”

The President also noted that no village in the country was left behind in the regime’s Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, etc.

“I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

“All the programmes mentioned above along with various interventions by the National Social Investment Programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succour to the affected Nigerians,” Mr Buhari said.

He also promised Nigerians that he would ensure free and fair elections come 2023 and called for more youth and women participation in the electoral cycle.

He said, “Having witnessed at close quarters the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee the election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states, notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and a few federal constituencies, have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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Economy

CSCS, NASD Lifts Unlisted Stock Market by 0.61%

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Unlisted Stock Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The final trading session on the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange in September 2022 ended on a positive note on Friday, with the bourse closing 0.61 per cent lower.

Business Post reports that the bullish performance was buoyed by the rise in the share prices of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc and NASD Plc.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock market increased by N5.83 billion to close at N968.60 billion versus Thursday’s N962.77 billion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) expanded by 4.44 basis points to end the day at 735.79 points as against the 731.35 points it recorded in the previous session.

Yesterday, CSCS Plc improved by N1.07 to sell at N14.17 per share compared to the N13.10 per share of the preceding session, while NASD Plc gained N1 to close at N13.00 per unit in contrast to the preceding day’s N14.00 per unit.

But the bullish trend did not extend to the activity chart as the volume of securities traded by investors decreased by 55.1 per cent to 105,440 units from the 725,984 units transacted a day earlier.

In the same pattern, the value of transactions went down by 96.1 per cent to N1.6 million from N41.5 million, while the number of deals increased by 50 per cent to six deals from the four deals recorded on Thursday.

At the end of the session, AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion as Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

CSCS Plc was also the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units worth N1.7 billion.

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