Enmeshed in bribery scandal, Addax says it plans $3 billion investment in Nigeria

Addax Petroleum [Photo: Africa Oil & Gas reports]

Amidst plans to wind up some of its global operations, Addax Petroleum on Sunday said it is ready to recommit to its operations in Nigeria.

The troubled oil firm confirmed in April that it was shutting its corporate offices in Houston, Aberdeen and Geneva.

Earlier in March, the Chief Executive Office at its Geneva Office, Zhang Yi, and the legal director were arrested over alleged bribery schemes carried out by the firm in Nigeria.

On June 6, Addax reached an agreement to pay a 31 million Swiss francs (about N11.5 billion) fine in Geneva, Switzerland to settle the bribery charges against some officials in Nigeria.

Last month, PREMIUM TIMES published details of the alleged bribery scheme and the Nigerian firms involved.

Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, referenced internal audit document by the audit firm of Deloitte, saying payments in excess of $20 million were made to four Nigerian “legal advisors”, including a U.S. based ally.

The document said another $80 million was paid to Kaztec Engineering Limited, a company owned by controversial businessman, Emeka Offor, for the construction of the Antan and Udele/Ofrima development projects.

The payments made in 2015 were said to have been without adequate supporting documentation as well as evidence of commercial rationale for a significant portion of the payments.

But Addax, wholly-owned by the Chinese Petrochemical Company, SINOPEC, which bought it in 2009, appears to have glossed over the allegations, declaring it was ready to contribute its quota to help Nigeria realise its aspiration to increase its crude oil production capacity to 2.3 million barrels per day.

“Our future in Nigeria remains very bright,” General Manager External & Government Affairs, Addax Petroleum, Dorothy Atake, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday. She did not make any reference to the bribery allegations and the firm’s winding up operations in other places.

“Our conviction in the country’s future is why we have plans for fresh investments of between $3-5 billion in Nigeria over the coming years,” Mrs. Atake said.

Mrs. Atake said part of the company’s objective included a programme to optimise its oil and gas operations in the country and increase production from its existing onshore and offshore assets.

She said for almost two decades, Addax Petroleum, which has been operating a Production Sharing Contract, PSC with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, recorded cumulative production of over 425 million barrels of crude oil.

Over the years, Mrs. Atake said, the company took over the operatorship of oil prospecting leases, OPLs 98/118 (now OML 123, 124, 136, and 137), and OPLs 90/225, previously operated by Ashland Nigeria Oil Company, after 25 years operation between 1973 and 1998.

As contractor operating on behalf of Addax/NNPC PSC, Mrs. Atake said the company attained the production capacity through the deployment of advanced technology to sustain investments in oil reserves to grow production.

The Senior Vice President/Managing Director, Addax Petroleum, Cor Zegelaar, said the company’s on-going projects have significantly brightened its forecasts for a better 2018.

“With a strong partnership with NNPC and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR as well as cooperation with host communities, we plan to continue with the Njaba drilling, mature Adanga East & Adanga North jack-up rig drilling, commence Atan drilling, and progress Ofrima Udele production,” he said.

Interestingly, some of the projects included the ones enmeshed in controversy and massive bribery scandal, including Ofrima/Udele development.

But, Mr. Zegelaar said work on other production optimization and asset integrity projects were still in progress, as part of efforts to realize the company’s overall growth plans of increased daily production.

As part of its production activities, he said, Addax Petroleum recently kicked off its current drilling activities in the Njaba field in OML 124 license area, based on low cost, capital efficient production optimization principles.

He said since the 2009 SINOPEC takeover, Addax Petroleum NNPC PSC invested over $5 billion and generated over $7 billion for the Nigerian government, creating jobs in host communities in addition to funding critical community projects in the areas of agriculture, health and education.


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  • Fulani Nomad

    Houston, Aberdeen and Geneva all these places knows how run businesses on their own terms & conditions. Addax cannot survive as a company in those places hence it announces winding-up its offices.

  • folabi

    Who are these nameless advisors who took so much money and have not been prosecuted?

  • OIL Spills Killing N-DELTANS

    “Royal Dutch Shell and the Italian multinational oil giant ENI have admitted to more than 550 oil spills in the Niger Delta last year, according to an Amnesty International analysis of the companies’ latest figures. By contrast, on average, there were only 10 spills a year across the whole of Europe between 1971 and 2011…..

    Shell reported 204 Niger Delta spills in 2014 while ENI, which operates in a smaller area, reported a staggering 349 spills.

    “These figures are seriously alarming. ENI has clearly lost control over its operations in the Niger Delta. And despite all its promises, Shell has made no progress on tackling oil spills,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Global Issues Director…In any other country, this would be a national emergency. In Nigeria it appears to be standard operating procedure for the oil industry. The human cost is horrific – people living with pollution every day of their lives.”

    —- www*DOT*amnesty*DOT*org

  • Rosea

    Who will clean up the oil spills in Niger Delta. How can a so called Federal govt be so indifferent and refuse to hold the oil companies accountable for the colossal pollution they cause each year?

  • forestgee

    Obviously they are looking for a fertile corruption ground where a small corrupt seed can grow to become iroko “corrupt” tree. NNPC is ready for them. Whither Nigeria!