Elcrest Seals Deal on OML 40
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Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited has completed its acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 40. Leaders of Elcrest met with leaders of Shell, Total E&P and Agip over the weekend in Abuja to complete the transaction.

With the Federal Government's approval of the stake assignment to Elcrest Exploration and Production Company, parties to the oil block finally signed all necessary documents to legalize the divestment deal.

Elcrest, a joint venture vehicle owned by Starcrest Energy, a subsidiary of The Chrome Group and Eland Oil & Gas, had applied for consent of the Minister of Petroleum for the 45 per cent participating interest in OML 40 on May 24, 2011.

Total, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Total E&P, NNPC/NPDC and Elcrest, signed documents that include amendments to the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between NNPC and SPDC JV, JOA between NPDC and Elcrest as well as the deed of novation agreement between parties to the oil asset.

OML 40 which is located at SPDC's Western Operating Division in Niger Delta is reported to have proven and probable reserves (2P) of 225.7 million barrels of oil equivalent and historically produced at less than 5,000 barrels per day before it was capped; the block also has the potential to produce 10,000 barrels per day.

The formal completion of the transaction was conducted in the presence of representatives of the parties; the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu for NNPC/NPDC, Emeka Offor for Elcrest, Managing Director and country Chairman of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu for his company, Deputy Managing Director of NAOC, Mrs. Funmi Goka for NAOC as well as Executive Director Total E&P, Mr. Olubunmi Obembe for his company at the NNPC Towers.

Sir Emeka Offor in his reception of legal documents to the asset reiterated his pledge to put the asset in good use, adding that the partnership will continually call for support whenever it needed one from established industry players.