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Chuks Udo Okonta
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Brazzaville signed an agreement to provide a $300 million facility to Trident OGX Congo in a transaction expected to raise the Republic of Congo’s crude oil production by an estimated 30 per cent.
Signed by Ibrahima Bagarama, Regional Chief Operating Officer – Central Africa, for Afreximbank, and John Chisholm and Olivier Okota, member of the Board of Directors and Director General of Trident OGX Congo respectively, the $300 million reserve-based lending facility will enable Trident OGX Congo to implement a capital expenditure programme to ramp-up crude oil production from the Mengo-Kundji-Bindi II (MKB II) oil fields.
Under the terms of the agreement, Trident OGX Congo, a fully owned subsidiary of Trident OGX International Pte Ltd, Singapore, will use the proceeds of the facility to partially finance and kickstart a seven-year development programme on the MKB II permit area located in the coastal plains between Pointe Noire, the foothills of Mayombe mountains and the border with Angola’s Сabinda enclave.
Upon completion of the field development plan, the transaction is expected to increase the Republic of Congo’s crude oil production level by up to 30 per cent and to add a considerable number of jobs to the country’s economy.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank, reiterated the Bank’s commitment to supporting African businesses in accessing markets, capital, and technology. “Today is a remarkable day for the Republic of Congo, and its oil and gas sector in particular. Afreximbank is pleased to participate in this historic project with Trident OGX Congo and the Republic of Congo. This important project which promises to bring investment of about US$1.5 billion into Congo’s oil and gas sector, will generate significant revenues that will enable the Government create more jobs and provide more socio-economic infrastructure for the people of Congo. We are also pleased that operations at the Mengo-Kundji-Bindi II oil fields will be conducted in adherence with best practices of environmental standards, by hydraulic fracturing process. Our sincere appreciation to H.E. President Denis Sassou Nguesso, under whose vision the Republic of Congo as a Member State of Afreximbank, is benefitting from its support”, he said.
He noted that the current transaction would result in the creation of a significant number of new jobs in the Republic of Congo and would also open up many entrepreneurial opportunities for Congolese businesses, culminating in significant GDP growth for the country.
In addition to the Trident Group, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo and Orion Group also have shareholding in the asset to be operated by Trident OGX Congo.
Also participating in the signing ceremony from Afreximbank were Dr. George Elombi, Executive Vice President, Governance, Legal and Corporate Services; and other officials of the Bank.