BusinessDay

Yetunde Taiwo: Bold petroleum engineer in charge of a $700m domestic gas project

Yetunde Taiwo is a petroleum engineer and CEO of ANOH Gas Processing Company (AGPC), the firm of one of the largest greenfield gas condensate development projects in Nigeria worth $700 million.

The firm under the leadership Yetunde Taiwo is one of major momentum to the domestic gas aspiration of the Federal Government for increased power generation and industrialization.

Gas is one of the hydrocarbons Nigeria has in abundance, yet under-utilised. With the need for increased energy generation, industrial production and household consumption, the country is beginning to explore measures to take advantage of stranded investment in the natural gas space.

Yetunde Taiwo, is the CEO in charge of AGPC, a company expected to manage a $700Million midstream development that will monetise 300Million standard cubic feet produced every day from the Assa North /Ohaji South fields, straddling Shell-operated Oil Mining Lease(oml) 21 and Seplat operated OML 53, onshore eastern Nigeria.

The AGPC projects involve the development of the Ohaji South gas and condensate field located within the license block OML 53 and the Assa North field in license block OML 21.

The two fields are together expected to produce 600 million standard cubic feet per day (Mscfd) of gas, equivalent to approximately 2.4GW of electricity. The generated electricity is sufficient to supply for approximately 2.4 million homes.

On funding, the phase one development of ANOH midstream is expected to cost $700million, of which the JV of Seplat and NGC will fund $420m. AGPC proposes to raise $280m in debt comprising senior tranche and vendor financing.

Also, the Assa North and Ohaji Southfields are expected to contain reserves of 4.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf ) of gas in addition to 215 million barrels (Mmbbls) of condensate.

The project will be connected to large-scale gas reserves to Nigeria’s main demand centres through the Oben hub owned by Seplat. The produced gas will be treated at the processing facility owned by SPDC JV and then forwarded through the Obiafu-obrikom-oben pipeline network.

Asides the projected $ 261 million as annual revenue from its Assa North / Ohaji South (ANOH) gas and condensate field project, Taiwo takes hold of the biggest Domestic Gas project promoted by an Independent, indigenous Nigerian company.

Of the total gas production, 300Mmscfd will be processed at the new gas processing plant owned by the SPDC JV, while the remaining gas will be processed at the proposed processing plant by SEPLAT Petroleum.

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The processed gas will be transported to the EscravosLagos Pipeline System (ELPS) and West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) through a 26km-long spur line connecting to the OB3 pipeline. The produced LPG will be trucked directly to Owerri, while the condensate will be exported to either Shell Bonny and or ENI’S Brass River terminal.

AGPC was incorporated in 2017, is responsible for the project development and operation and maintenance. Seplat holds 50percent stake in AGPC, while Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), holds the remaining stake.

AGPC is run in the model of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, which implies its an Incorporated Joint Venture (IJV) between a private hydrocarbon firm and a Nigerian state hydrocarbon company. In this case, Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company are co-venturers.

Which means that in her role, Taiwo takes hold of the bigticket project expected to create thousands of new jobs, spur domestic gas demand, generate electricity, create an opportunity to diversify revenue of the Nigerian government, strengthen the country’s revenue base and turn Nigeria into a dominant geopolitical player in Africa, using its gas resources, just like Australia, Russia or Qatar.

A Final Investment Decision (FID) on the project was made in December 2018, with commissioning planned to be completed by the first quarter of 2020. The field is expected to produce between three and 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day by 2020.

Her career

Taiwo moved closer to her current position in January 2018, when she was appointed GM Commercial-anoh. In that position, she was accountable for delivering all commercial agreements relating to the ANOH Gas Processing Company start-up.

Those agreements include gas sales and purchase, gas marketing, condensate offtake, CHA (Crude Handling Agreements), LPG offtake and other commercial agreements with lenders and investors.

She takes the job three and half years after her appointment as Head of Gas Business at Seplat, the continent’s largest homegrown hydrocarbon producer, where she oversaw the development of one of the fastest-growing domestic gas businesses in Nigeria.

As General Manager in charge of Seplat’s gas business, Yetunde leads a team to evaluate all gas projects and provides commercial and investment advice to the company executives. She also manages the long-range strategic objectives for the gas business, which includes a startup gas processing company to be on stream in 2019.

Under the watch of Taiwo, Seplat grew its operated gas production capacity from 300Million standard cubic feet per day (300Mmscf/d) to 525Mmscf/d.

Taiwo was, until August 2015, the General Manager, Planning at NAPIMS, the Investment arm of Nigerian state hydrocarbon company NNPC. She was a member of the second- level management cadre that was retired as Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state at the Petroleum Ministry, swept into office as Group Managing Director of NNPC.

Bajela-taiwo was head of planning and economics at Seplat before she joined NNPC in 2013, as NAPIMS’ GM Planning.now her role in Seplat has a higher profile. The NPDC/SEplat Joint Venture, which Seplat operates, is currently the third largest supplier of gas to the domestic market, after the NNPC/ Chevron JV and the NPDC/ Ndwestern JV.

She studied Petroleum Engineering at Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan, where she bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in 1990. After graduation, Yetunde worked briefly with Elf Nigeria Limited (now TOTAL) before launching her career with Chevron Nigeria Limited as a Petroleum Engineer, where she specialized in Production and Reservoir Management.

That eventually led to a fifteen- year career spent with Chevron in various positions such as Reservoir Management Team Lead, Planning Advisor, Economics Manager and Project Manager. It was in this capacity that she moved onwards to join BG Nigeria as the first Country Economics Manager in 2007. Soon afterwards, her expanding expertise allowed her movement into Government and independent oil companies in Nigeria before she showed up at Seplat in May 2011 as head of planning and economics.

When Yetunde is not preoccupied by work, she enjoys writing as it’s her dream to have her writings published someday. Together with a few of her friends, she manages a non-profit association, ‘Education for Life’ that mentors children between the ages of 10 – 15 and provides educational assistance to indigent female children within her immediate community.

Married with two children, Yetunde is an ardent theatre lover and delights in watching plays and cultural shows.

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