Nigerian Billionaire Theophilus Danjuma Loses Bid to Acquire Angola Oil Block
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News - March 30, 2023

Nigerian Billionaire Theophilus Danjuma Loses Bid to Acquire Angola Oil Block

Theophilus Danjuma, a Nigerian billionaire and owner of South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO), a oil and gas exploration and production company firm, has recently lost the bid to purchase some equity in deepwater Block 32, off Angola owned by Galp Energia. The bid was lost to Somoil, the largest oil exploration company in Angola.

Galp Energia, a Portuguese independent, earlier announced that it will sell out its 9% stake in Block 14, 4.5 percent of Block 14K and five percent of Block 32 to Somoil for $830 million, net of taxes on estimated capital gains, including $655 million to be received until the conclusion of the operation and $175 million of contingent payments in 2024 and 2025, dependent on the price of Brent.

SAPETRO was keen to acquire Galps’s 5% of Block 32. However, Galp was only interested in selling off all its assets in the southwest African country at once and only Somoil was interested and ready to purchase all.

Galp Energia also preferred Somoil because it had local expertise and had participated in several asset sales conducted in its home country over the past few years.

SAPETRO, who wanted to expand its operations outside Nigeria where it is one of the largest independent E&P companies, got unlucky. It had invested in Afren in 2014, around the time the company was heading into bankruptcy.

It also tried to revamp the Seme field off Benin Republic and left it after investing millions of dollars. SAPETRO also purchased a 90-percent participating interest in the Belo Profond production sharing contract in the Mozambique Channel deepwater off Madagascar from U.S. junior Marex MC Inc., but exited Madagascar in 2018 without producing a single drop of oil over a myriad of disagreements with the Malagasy government.

SAPETRO, an interest holder in deep-water OML 130 and OPL 246 and was founded by Danjuma in 1995.

Somoil was founded by Angolan multi-millionaire Joaquim David, a former director general of Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil company.

The company produces more than 16,000 barrels of oil per day and is the operator of two blocks in the Lower Congo Basin: offshore Block 2/05 under a production-sharing agreement and onshore blocks FS and FST under a concession contract).

Somoil also has a tiny but growing presence in petroleum distribution in Angola.

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