Africa Oil Corp: Africa Oil Announces the Renewal of OML 130 License
VANCOUVER, BC, May 29, 2023 /CNW/ - (TSX: AOI) (Nasdaq-Stockholm: AOI) - Africa Oil Corp. ("Africa Oil", "AOC" or the "Company") is pleased to note the press release by TotalEnergies announcing the renewal of Oil Mining License ("OML") 130 for a period of 20 years. Africa Oil has an effective 8% interest in OML 130 through its 50% shareholding in Prime Oil & Gas Coöperatief U.A. ("Prime"). The renewal of OML 130 means that Akpo, Egina and Preowei fields will operate under the terms of the new Petroleum Industry Act ("PIA"), being the first assets to effectively benefit from the PIA fiscal terms. View PDF version. (https://mb.cision.com/Public/17207/3776066/b4374285502b019e.pdf).
This license renewal, a condition precedent to the closing of Prime's debt refinancing, will allow Prime to enhance its debt capacity, reset its tenor to 6 years and materially increase its near-term liquidity capacity. Closing of the refinancing, expected in the next few days, will provide Prime with the scope to distribute dividends to its shareholders, including Africa Oil, during this year.
The renewal of OML 130 will also allow the Company to increase the available amount of its standby corporate credit facility to $200.0 million from $100.0 million currently, significantly increasing its liquidity. This facility, which is currently unutilised, is available to be drawn until October 20, 2023.
Africa Oil President and CEO Keith Hill commented: "The renewal of OML 130 is very good news for the Company and its shareholders. This license is the core of our Nigerian investment and accounts for most of Prime's production and cashflows. It also includes attractive growth opportunities such as the undeveloped Preowei oil discovery, which we can now take forward towards a final investment decision. Additional opportunities include step-out exploration and appraisal drilling, that should support production rates over the coming years.
Africa Oil has a debt-free balance sheet with significant liquidity headroom and a balanced portfolio of production and development assets in Nigeria, plus the industry's most exciting appraisal and exploration campaign in Namibia's offshore Orange Basin. Drilling at the Venus-1A well is progressing well and we look forward to updates from the operator in the coming weeks."
Africa Oil completed the acquisition of a 50% shareholding in Prime in January 2020 for a cash consideration of $519.5 million. To date, the Company has received a total of $650.0 million in dividend payments from Prime and achieved payback of its Prime investment in under three years.
The main assets of Prime are an indirect 8% working interest ("WI") in OML 127 (4% net to AOC) and an indirect 16% WI in OML 130 (8% net to AOC). OML 127 is operated by affiliates of Chevron and covers part of the producing Agbami field. OML 130 is operated by affiliates of TotalEnergies and contains the producing Akpo and Egina fields. The three fields in these two OMLs are located over 100 km offshore Nigeria. All three fields have high quality reservoirs and produce light to medium sweet crude oil through FPSO facilities. Akpo and Egina also export associated gas which feeds into the Nigerian liquified natural gas plant. OML 130 license area also covers the Preowei undeveloped oil discovery. This asset is expected to be developed through a satellite subsea tieback to the existing Egina FPSO facility.
At end of first quarter 2023 Prime had an outstanding reserves-based lending ("RBL") facility and a pre-export finance facility with an aggregate outstanding debt amount of $720.3 million ($360.2 million net to AOC). Prime will now complete the refinancing of both these facilities through the closing of a new RBL facility. This new facility is for a principal amount of $1.0 billion ($0.5 billion net to AOC) with a 6-year tenor. Prime also reported a cash position of $396.9 million ($198.5 million net to AOC) at end of first quarter 2023.
At end of first quarter 2023, Africa Oil had a debt-free balance sheet and a cash position of $158.2 million. The Company's standby credit facility is available until October 20, 2023, with an available amount of $200.0 million. This facility has a maturity of October, 20, 2025.
This information is information that Africa Oil is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above, at 4:30 a.m. ET on May 29, 2023.
Certain statements and information contained herein constitute "forward-looking information" (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation). Such statements and information (together, "forward-looking statements") relate to future events or the Company's future performance, business prospects or opportunities.
All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Statements concerning proven and probable reserves and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements and reflect conclusions that are based on certain assumptions that the reserves and resources can be economically exploited. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect, "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, ongoing uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements, including statements pertaining production, schedules and costs of exploratory drilling activity including those offshore Namibia , uninsured risks, regulatory and fiscal changes, availability of materials and equipment, unanticipated environmental impacts on operations, duration of the drilling program, availability of third party service providers and defects in title. No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties relating to, among other things, changes in macro-economic conditions and their impact on operations, changes in oil prices, reservoir and production facility performance, hedging counterparty contractual performance, results of exploration and development activities, cost overruns, uninsured risks, regulatory and fiscal changes including uncertainties around applicable corporate income tax in Nigeria, defects in title, claims and legal proceedings, availability of materials and equipment, availability of skilled personnel, timeliness of government or other regulatory approvals, actual performance of facilities, joint venture partner underperformance, availability of financing on reasonable terms, availability of third party service providers, equipment and processes relative to specifications and expectations and unanticipated environmental, health and safety impacts on operations. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.