Ademola Adeyemi-Bero: providing direction for Nigeria’s indigenous oil firms

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With over 34 years’ experience in the Petroleum Industry, Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, the managing director of First Exploration & Petroleum Development Ltd (First E&P) is embarking on a journey in making Nigeria oil and gas sector open to indigenous participation and value retention.

Ademola Adeyemi-Bero is the CEO of First E&P Ltd, the company are the owners of Anyala and Madu fields, both estimated to contain combined reserves of 193 million barrels of oil (MMBBls) and 0.637 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas.

Unlike in time past when only international oil companies run the show in Nigeria’s petroleum industry, Ademola Adeyemi-Bero is leading a chain of indigenous oil companies in replicating the model that will invigorate indigenous participation in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

As the current Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), Adeyemi-Bero leads a group of about 25 Nigerian Indigenous Upstream E&P companies who are increasingly relevant players in the upstream oil and gas development and production dynamics of the Nigerian Petroleum sector.

Indigenous Nigerian oil producers including First E&P currently pump about 10 percent of national output and have invested billions of dollars in the past 10 years to position themselves for growth, and to play a bigger role in the sector dominated by International Oil Companies (IOCs).

For many, First E&P was not a name that rang two decades ago but the company is gradually rising from obscurity to arguably a major player in the upstream sector.

As typical of emerging giants in the sector, the Company under the leadership of Adeyemi-Bero is primarily focused in the upstream industry, harnessing exploration and production opportunities in the African continent with current emphasis on the Niger Delta Petroleum Province and the West African sub-region.

Adeyemi-Bero is a seasoned and respected Oil and Gas Executive with experience spanning the international and national business environment and can be regarded as one of leading oil and gas professionals in Nigeria. He brings integrity, sound business head and a wealth of invaluable leadership experience and capability to the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.

Before embarking on the entrepreneurial journey, Adeyemi-Bero spent 5 years with British Gas Exploration and Production Company Nigeria as President/Managing Director with responsibility for the Integrated Gas, Exploration & Production businesses of the British Gas Group in Nigeria.

Adeyemi-Bero also spent 20 years with Shell, where he occupied several significant roles in several countries. His roles in Shell included Business Director / Board Executive of Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Vice President – New Business Development in Africa within Shell International E&P.

 In these executive roles, he provided leadership over diverse technical and commercial teams, focused on value creation and supporting Business Governance objectives.

As CEO of First E&P, he leads the company’s drive towards the attainment of a sustainably successful integrated oil and gas business.

Under the leadership of Adeyemi-Bero, First E&P received Nigeria’s first floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) modification and upgrading project in 2020 from a shipping company based in Singapore, Keppel Off-shore & Marine.

The FPSO called Abigail-Joseph has a processing capacity of 50,000 BPD of oil and 60,000 BPD of liquid. It also has a gas compression capacity of 34 MMscf/d and a storage capacity of not less than 550,000 bbl of oil although Malaysia’s FPSO operator Yinson’s website shows 870,000 barrels.

FPSO Abigail-Joseph scheduled for work at Anyala and Madu discoveries in Oil Mining Leases (OML) 83 and 85 is designed for 15 years of operations without dry-docking and is been chartered by First E&P on a seven-year contract with options to extend.

According to information published on Keppel Offshore & Marine website, the span of the project included refurbishment and life extension work, engineering and procurement, fabrication and installation of new structures including the helideck and riser balcony, as well as the installation, integration, and completion of topside modules.

The bareboat charter deal is also accompanied by operations and maintenance (O&M) deal, with the total value of both deals up to $901.79 million.

According to the Offshore Engineer, the estimated aggregate value of the contract is based on the assumption that the extension options are fully exercised, comprising the bareboat charter contract of $617.09 million.

The deal also includes the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract of $284.7 million (N87.36 billion). The FPSO is expected to commence operations at the Anyala and Madu fields by the fourth quarter of 2019.

Last year, Adeyemi-Bero led First E&P to spud its first well in development of the Anyala and Madu fields for a two-year contract running from April 2019 to April 2021.

The fields will be drained by 20 wells in total. The agreement to develop Madu and Anyala (discovered by Texaco, which was bought over by Chevron) was signed between Schlumberger, NNPC and First E&P, as far back as June 2017, with Schlumberger committing to provide technical services, as well as funding the $724Million for the project.

First E&P acquired approximately 900km² of 3D seismic data over both licenses between October 2017 and January 2018 while Aquaterra Energy was contracted to design, develop and install two offshore platforms for the project.

First E&P, which was established in 2011, said its mission is to be a deeply technical, commercial and entrepreneurial organisation, with full delivery capability across the entire upstream oil and gas value chain.

OML 83 covers and aerial extent of 125 sq. km, with Anyala field as the only discovery within the acre-age while Madu field which is the main discovery within OML 85, has an aerial extent of 521sq.km. Anyala field is located at a water depth of 55m, about 45km off the coast of Bayelsa State.

The Anyala and Madu fields are estimated to contain combined reserves of 193 million barrels of oil (MMBBls) and 0.637 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas.

In line with current realities, there is also the fact that many local companies including First E&P have been hard hit by the effects of COVID-19 and the ensuing significant decline in oil prices. The implication of this is that these local oil companies may not have sufficient cash flows nor be able to raise needed funds from both local and international banks.

 Apart from First E&P led by Adeyemi-Bero, there are at least 50 small to mid-sized Nigerian producers pumping between 1,000 and 100,000 barrels each day.

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