Low production costs, gas investments driving Seplat’s profitability – CEO


Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, a leading Nigerian independent oil and gas company listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, will remain very profitable even at lower oil prices given its low production costs and strong investments in gas.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Austin Avuru, said this to the investment community and analysts upon the release of Seplat’s audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 on Monday.

Avuru said: “As we enter a challenging phase for the global economy, Seplat will benefit from being a resilient company built on the solid foundations of prudent financial management and the careful mitigation of risk.

We have previously been tested by crisis. We successfully navigated the twin challenges of the 2014/2015 oil price shock, which was immediately followed by the 16-month Trans Forcados shut-in, which drastically reduced our liquids production.

“Thanks to our flexibility in managing cash flows we emerged a stronger and better-funded company, ready to take advantage of new opportunities.

Compared to those difficult periods, today’s Seplat has more cash on its balance sheet and is even more robust and diversified thanks to our continuing investments in gas, with its long-term contracts and independence from oil price volatility. We are a low-cost producer and will continue to manage our finances prudently.

“ With the recent addition of Eland and the availability of new pipelines, our oil business is broadening and derisking its production fields and routes to market to assure even greater security of revenues in the future.

In the coming year we will focus our investment only on the highest-returning projects, whilst carefully balancing our future needs with prevailing market realities.

The challenges before us may be significant, but we are confident that the resilience and discipline of our business will help us consolidate our position as Nigeria’s leading independent oil and gas producer.”

Seplat recorded a revenue of US$698 million with total capital expenditure of US$125 million, US$114 million on oil and gas assets.

Cash flow from operations stood at US$338 million; cash at bank US$333 million and Final dividend maintained at US$0.05 per share.


  • Low unit cost of production at US$6.20/boe  • Working interest production 46,498 boepd in line with 2019 revised guidance of 45,000 – 48,000 boepd  • Liquids production of 23,935 bopd • Gas production of 131 MMscfd  • FID taken for 300MMscfd ANOH gas processing facility; first gas now expected Q4 2021

Landmark acquisition of Eland Oil & Gas PLC

  • Increases Seplat’s WI liquids production by 9Kbopd, increases WI 2P liquids reserves by 36MMbbls  • Loan due from Elcrest to Eland of US$414 million at year end; loan maturity 31 December 2024 • Adds upside potential from unappraised discoveries e.g. Amobe, plus new export routes • Eland achieved a record day’s WI liquids production of 17 kbopd on 17 March 2020.


  • Expected production of 47-57 kboepd (inc. Eland 6-10kbopd) for full year, subject to market conditions   • 1.5MMbbls/quarter hedged at US$45/bbl from Q1 to Q3 2020 • Significant cash balance available • Low cost of production enables profitability at levels below current oil price • 2020 expected capex of US$100 million; US$50 million of which spent in YTD.  • Manage 2020 drilling programme to suit market conditions and preserve liquidity, minimum three wells

Outlook for 2020

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, as well as pressure on oil prices in March, have placed a premium on solid financial management that focuses upon low-cost production, robust cash management, a strong balance sheet and focused investment in high-return projects for sustainable future growth.   The business is hedged against low oil prices and a significant proportion of our revenues now come from gas, which offers further protection from oil price volatility. The Company has low production costs and can remain profitable even at lower oil prices. We have significant cash resources available and will manage our finances prudently in 2020, expecting now to invest just US$100 million of capital expenditure (US$50 million spent in Q1 2020), with a target of three new wells across our portfolio. We will also continue to focus on our investments in gas and the completion of the ANOH project remains a major priority.  At present we are targeting 2020 production of between 47-57 kboepd, including Eland production of 6-10 kbopd, subject to continuous evacuation being possible.  Seplat has been tested in previous adverse conditions and we are confident that the stronger and more diverse business we operate today will be even more resilient against these unprecedented market events. The integration of Eland Oil & Gas PLC will position the Group strongly when the market recovers and we are pleased to report that on 17 March 2020, OML 40 produced a record 17 kbopd as recorded by its LACT. We remain optimistic about our long-term growth and success.

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