The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has signed a $1.4 billion external project finance agreement for the Northern Hydrocarbon Funding Limited.
Codenamed Project Panther (under the NNPC Limited/Chevron Nigeria Limited joint venture), the agreement was sealed at the signing ceremony held on Tuesday in London.
The deal was jointly arranged by Standard Chartered Bank UK and the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Speaking at the event, Adokiye Tombomieye, executive vice-president, upstream, NNPC Limited, expressed delight at the overwhelming response of each of the 16 lenders participating in the financing programme.
Tombomieye, who represented Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO), NNPC, said participation in the funding programme was a clear demonstration of confidence in the NNPC.
“I am glad to welcome you to the signing ceremony of Project Panther, the $1.4 billion external project finance jointly arranged by Standard Chartered Bank UK and United Bank for Africa for Northern Hydrocarbon Funding Limited on behalf of the NNPC Limited/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture,” he said.
“We are delighted at the overwhelming response of each of the sixteen lenders participating in this financing programme, a clear demonstration of the great confidence reposed in us by the market.
“While this level of interest is not new to offerings by the NNPCL/CNL Joint Venture, the fact that is sustained at this time of very high uncertainties is indeed remarkable.
“It is obvious that our diligence in meeting debt service obligations, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, has not gone unnoticed by the market. I will, therefore, like to affirm our commitment to delivering true value to our esteemed Lenders in this regard.”
He added that NNPC, in collaboration with its valued partners, is firmly committed to reliably delivering energy for sustainability.
According to NNPC, Project Panther will spread across 10 fields in OMLs 49, 90 and 95.
Speaking on Arise TV, Umar Ajiya, NNPC’s chief financial officer, said the project would produce gas that would be routed to meet domestic supply obligations, thereby supporting Nigeria’s energy transition agenda through increased gas production.
Although the deal is coming one week after the presidential flag-off of the Kolmani drilling project (KIPRO), Ajiya said it has nothing to do with Kolmani, adding that all projects are in Delta state.
According to him, Project Panther is expected to increase production of the NNPCL/CNL joint venture, covering 37 development wells which are made up of 31 oil producers, one gas well and five water injectors spread across ten NNPCL/CNL JV fields from 2022 to 2026.