Despite the operational challenges it encounters, chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako said the company has continually met its dividend commitment to shareholders so far.
Addressing shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Wednesday, his last as chairman and member of the board, Orjiako hinted that as part of its faithful rewarding of shareholders, recalling that “since raising “$535 million at our initial public offering in May 2014, we have returned over $400 million to shareholders in the form of dividends.”
At the end of the operations for the 2021 financial year, the shareholders approved a total dividend payout of $0.10 per share, with the chairman noting saying the company’s “operational and financial performance in 2021 reflects the challenges of our business in Nigeria. Our average working interest production was 47,693 boepd including 29,091 bopd of liquids and 107.9 MMscfd of gas (18,602 boepd).”
This robust operational performance, despite our operational challenges, he continued, “meant that we were able to meet our dividend commitment and, with the Board having approved a Q4 dividend of $0.025 per share, we once again returned $0.10 per share to our shareholders for 2021.
“The performance of our oil business was impacted by two lengthy shut-ins at one of the third-party operated export routes that we rely upon. This underscores the need for alternative export routes to mitigate this risk.
“We drilled five oil wells and three gas wells during the year; the oil wells have a combined gross potential of 17.5 kbopd and the gas wells have a combined gross rate of 130 MMscfd of gas and 5.2 kbpd of condensate. I am particularly proud of our strong safety record which saw us reach 24 million hours without any Lost Time Injury (LTI) from our operated assets in 2021.”
He noted the company’s introduction of hydrocarbons into the Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline (AEP) and are poised to launch this alternate export route which will enable the company to evacuate up to 40 kbopd gross from our OMLs 4, 38 and 41.
This, he continued, is an achievement worthy of note and this performance translated into revenues of $733 million and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $372 million, up 38 percent and 40 percent respectively, from 2020, as our business recovered from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our cash position remained strong as we ended the year with $341 million in cash and a net debt of $426 million. We have certainly delivered on that vision of building a business that is now the leading Nigerian independent and a major provider of natural gas to the domestic market.”
On the outlook for Seplat Energy, chief executive officer of Seplat Energy, Roger Brown said “the energy industry in Nigeria has a bright future and as Nigeria’s indigenous energy leader we are going to be powering the country’s energy transition and future prosperity.
“We intend to develop the onshore assets we have owned for years; develop the assets we have acquired with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) and create new opportunities in renewables and other energy products. This is how we will build a sustainable business and deliver energy transition and if we can become the largest energy provider in a country with a population expected to exceed 400 million by 2050, that will make Seplat Energy a truly global force.”