COPL Confident on OPL 226 Drilling Licence Extension in Nigeria
…Says delay is due to COVID-19
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (COPL), an international oil and gas exploration and development company focused on sub-Saharan Africa, has expressed confidence that it will receive confirmation of its exploration licence extension during Q4 2020.
In an update yesterday to investors on its drilling extension for OPL226, the company said it had on 4th August 2020, announced that shareholders of the Nigerian Affiliate had executed definitive agreements to resolve their disputes.
“Completion of this agreement is subject to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) granting an extension of the exploration period under the OPL 226 PSC beyond 30th September 2020,” Arthur Millholland, President and CEO, said in update.
In the operations update, the president informed that the Nigerian Affiliate applied for this extension in early June 2020 and subsequently held a number of constructive meetings with the NNPC post application.
“No notice of termination has been received by COPL’s Nigerian Affiliate, which under the terms of the PSC would need to be issued sixty days before the 30th September 2020 expiry date,” the COPL CEO said.
He further confirmed that the two previous extensions to the drilling license at OPL 226 were received by the Nigerian Affiliate post the previous expiration dates.
The president said in the statement that COPL appreciates the fact that COVID-19 restrictions are creating delays within the NNPC.
“Once COPL’s Nigerian Affiliate has received formal confirmation of PSC extension and its terms, the Affiliate will set out its forward operation schedule. The Company will continue to keep the market up to date with its progress.
“We understand that the length of time that has passed since the process for the extension of the OPL 226 PSC started has caused concern among some shareholders and market participants.
“The COVID-19 situation has caused most governments globally to react to protect their organs of government as well as their citizens through restrictions on meetings or gatherings to air travel.
“This is true for Canada and the United Kingdom as well as for Nigeria. To date we have only had constructive conversations with NNPC, so we believe this delay is due to COVID-19 bureaucracy pressures. Our Company, through ShoreCan and the other shareholder of the Nigerian Affiliate, continues to be confident in the process and its outcome,” he said.
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja