Seplat Petroleum Development Company announced that it will partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to raise $700 million to develop gas fields in the country’s Imo state.
During a visit to London, Seplat Chairman and co-founder A.B.C Orjiako told Reuters that a decision had been taken to develop the Assa North and Ohaji South gas fields.
Seplat, which has dual listings in Lagos and London, is focusing heavily on gas investments, drilling and acquisitions to boost its gross output with the aim of tapping into demand for electricity. It now supplies around 30 percent of the gas required for power generation in Nigeria.
According to Orjiako, Seplat’s gas production stood at 525 million standard cubic feet (scuf) per day from 90 million scuf nine years ago.
In 2013, Nigeria, which is plagued by blackouts, started selling parts of its state electricity firm in a privatisation aimed at improving power supplies and attracting billions of dollars in investments. However the goals were never achieved, as most of the plants sold in that privatisation were gas-fired, operating below capacity due to inadequate gas supply.
Orjiaku said Nigeria had one of the highest cost per kilowatt of power, but it produces less than 10 percent of its requirement. The bulk of electricity produced comes from diesel generators which is expensive and unreliable.
The Chairman noted that the sector could thrive once government relinquished its tight control on power generation.