FIRST E&P – A Portfolio of Opportunities

FIRST Exploration & Petroleum Development Company Ltd (FIRST E&P) is a deeply technical, commercial and entrepreneurial business that is set to offer full delivery capabilities throughout the entire upstream oil and gas value chain. We look at how a diverse portfolio, committed team and strong leadership are making this exploration and production company the one to watch in Nigeria. 

Since FIRST E&P was established in 2011 and launched its formal business operations in July 2012, the company’s strategic goal has been to establish itself as the most admired independent exploration and production company in the country, contributing to the wellbeing of Nigerians.  To achieve this, FIRST E&P has been developing and operating an impressive portfolio of upstream oil and gas assets.

That portfolio includes assets that will generate the cash-flow and financial stability necessary for a start-up exploration and production company. These assets are 10% of ND Western’s 45% working interest in the producing asset OML 34, a 40% working interest in OML 83 and OML 85, and 15% of West African Exploration and Production Company Limited’s 45% working interest in OML 71 and OML 72.

FIRST E&P also pursues niche exploration plays, development and appraisal opportunities that will ensure the firm maintains a sustainable pipeline for extended periods, such as a 10% interest in a joint venture with Dangote Industries Limited to build the East-West Offshore Gas Gathering System (EWOGGS) Pipeline.

FIRST E&P is recognised by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources as the ‘Most Compliant Nigeria Content Oil Company’ and is poised to deliver a material value of approximately 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day within five years.

“We sustainably deliver top performance and value through our people; they are a key part of our success journey,” says FIRST E&P’s CEO and Managing Director, Ademola Adeyemi-Bero. “The quality, the talent, the deep technical expertise across the various functions and teams are the foundation of the company, and the leadership of the company promotes professionalism and an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Energy & People

In driving its mission, FIRST E&P is led by a management team with a track record of commercialising and operating upstream oil and gas assets in Nigeria and globally.  They are supported by a Board of Directors who share a credible international profile, a wealth of business knowledge and experience.

This company’s leadership is dedicated to making FIRST E&P a commercially and technically focused, professional company, yet results cannot be achieved without the trusted expertise of a committed team. At every level, FIRST E&P’s people are delivery-focused, collaborative and are dedicated to continuous improvement necessary to achieve their goals.

Each FIRST E&P employee takes responsibility for their own development and drives to achieve full potential in their chosen profession. Employees are also expected to demonstrate a commitment to the growth and success of the company, a desire to learn and be the best at what they do. Professionalism, Honesty, Entrepreneurship, Integrity and Safety are some of the key values for FIRST E&P.

“FIRST E&P employs staff into the company through a mix of targeting quality staff in the marketplace for the middle/senior-level jobs, and a graduate recruitment process to recruit an intelligent, inquisitive and diverse (equal male and female) pool of young staff,” explains Adeyemi-Bero. “FIRST E&P’s philosophy is about building the best team with the right complement of staff.”

But more than that, it offers a chance to be part of a successful company with purposeful ambitions, committed to growth, with a clear vision, business purpose and direction. FIRST E&P creates a supportive culture that enables innovative work practices while being a progressive, proudly Nigerian contributor to national economic development. FIRST E&P’s ethical and value-driven leadership, as well as an ethos that aligns company business success with personal success, means its employees have an employer that nurtures careers and instils a sense of pride while ensuring its employees feel extremely valued.

Continued Development

To see what FIRST E&P’s team is capable of, its achievement across current projects demonstrate its abilities to deliver results.  For the ongoing projects in OMLs 83 and 85, located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta, FIRST E&P operates both blocks, on behalf of the NNPC/FIRST E&P Joint Venture. OML 83 is the location of the Anyala field, which contains three main hydrocarbon compartments, with oil and gas discoveries in multiple-stacked reservoirs.

To maximise these resources FIRST E&P has adopted a phased development strategy, starting with five development wells in Anyala West for Phase 1A. In the second and third quarter of 2019, FIRST E&P successfully drilled two pilot wells here, discovering upsides in hydrocarbon resources as well as additional development opportunities in the area.

While these resources are bound to yield exciting results, it’s clear talking to Adeyemi-Bero that there is something else that he’s excited to talk about. These projects, ultimately, give FIRST E&P the capabilities to push an ambitious Environmental Social Governance agenda.

“This is an idea which really excites the company,” Adeyemi-Bero tells us. “Partly in the context of our future IPO, but foremost as we see the ESG agenda driven globally, we need to develop an African narrative urgently otherwise the pool of international finance for Africa will shrink under the weight of ESG requirements which are not (yet) relevant for us. A clear example is that Europe is moving beyond natural gas. Yet, natural gas is the driver of African development for the foreseeable future. We cannot afford not to develop gas! And we need international funds to do so. We therefore must find the right balance for all energy needs globally.”

FIRST E&P’s role as an independent, integrated, Nigerian oil and gas company puts it in a unique position to set the agenda.

“As a Nigerian independent integrated oil and gas company, that drives above board in the way we do our business in an ethical and responsible manner, it is great to see the progress we have made as a company, and we look forward to more opportunities to demonstrate that we are able to deliver above and beyond our clear commercial objectives and doing it the right way,” Adeyemi-Bero says. “It is especially pleasing that we have done so in collaborative partnerships like our senior Joint Venture partner (NNPC), the Nigerian Regulator (DPR), our banks (Sterling Bank, StanbicIBTC/Standard Bank and FSDH) and our service providers, like Yinson, Borr Drilling, Aveon Offshore, NOV, etc. To bring all those capabilities and expertise together as a small but growing E&P company is exciting.”

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