Seplat Energy recommits to growing shareholders’ wealth, sustainability

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..Declares US15 cents dividends

Seplat Energy Plc has restated its commitment to sustainability and growing shareholders wealth, even as it declared US15 cents per share dividends earlier proposed by the Board of Directors for the financial year ended December 31, 2023.

The declared dividends comprised a special dividend of US 3 cent per share and US 12 cent per share final dividend for the year.

In his address to shareholders at the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which held virtually, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma, Chairman of the Board, Seplat Energy, highlighted Seplat Energy’s robust financial results, including an 11.5 percent increase in total revenue to $1.06 billion.

Udoma said: “We delivered a strong set of results in 2023 against a weaker oil price environment. Despite the 17 percent decline in average price of Brent crude, we grew our oil and gas revenue by 11.5 percent to $1.06 billion, crossing the $1.0 billion mark for the first time, supported by improved production and asset availability. We also made significant progress on several of our growth projects, showing a willingness to not just deliver value today but to plan for tomorrow.

“Our average daily production also increased by 8.3 percent in 2023, to 47,758 boepd (barrels of oil equivalent per day), from 44,104 bopd in 2022, with revenue from oil and gas sales for 2023 rising to 11.5 percent to $1.06 billion from $952.0 million in 2022. This excludes the reported $98.9 million overlift. We also completed 14 new wells across our operated and non-operated assets.”

Also speaking, the CEO of Seplat Energy, Mr. Roger Brown, reiterated the company’s commitment to sustainability and energy transition, outlining Seplat Energy’s initiatives to increase its contribution to Nigeria’s power sector by providing lower carbon and renewable energy solutions.

He said: “As Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy company, we recognise our duty to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment. We aim to create increasingly sustainable energy solutions to provide access and meet increasing energy demand, while addressing the critical challenge of climate change for society and our business. We are positioned for decarbonisation through several strategic initiatives and continue in our role in leading Nigeria’s domestic gas supply, which accounts for about 25% of the country’s gas-to-power supply.

“A key focus for us has been the aggressive program to eliminate gas flares by 2025, which is a significant part of our commitment to achieving net zero by 2050. We are also exploring using solar power where feasible and have initiated a diesel replacement program to increase the use of gas, a less carbon-intensive fuel, for power generation in our operations. To support these decarbonisation efforts, Seplat Energy has committed substantial financial resources.

“In 2023, we allocated $5.7 million towards projects to end routine flares in operations. This includes installing gas compression facilities and incineration at various flow stations. Upon completing these projects, we expect to significantly improve our gas handling capacity and reduce flares, thus monetising flare gas in alignment with our corporate strategy and national initiatives.”

Mr. Samson Ezugworie, Chief Operating Officer, COO, Seplat Energy, said: “Till date, the company has achieved a cumulative 10.6 million-man hours since last lost time injury (LTI) recorded on the 13th of October 2022. Safety remains our top priority. Several training sessions on incident management, process safety management training for operations, engineering, maintenance, wells, and HSE Team members were conducted over the past year to ensure our teams in the various asset locations are updated on the latest procedures on safety.

“In addition to these, the company is on a path to achieving ISO 45001 and 14001 standards certifications, demonstrating its commitment to top-tier safety and environmental performance. These certifications are globally acknowledged benchmarks for occupational health and safety management systems and environmental management systems, respectively.”

Shareholders at the meeting, expressed their appreciation over Seplat Energy performance and dividend payout amidst the challenging market conditions.

While commending the board and management for their effective leadership and prudent management of the company’s resources, a shareholder, Mr. Patrick Ajudua remarked: “I want to commend the dividend declaration by Seplat. They have earlier given us a special dividend of US 3 cents also, and this is a reassurance that investors needed to continue to invest in the company. I want to commend also the financial performance which saw the gross earnings grow up significantly. I want to state that the company has been doing well. I also commend Seplat on the ANOH project. We pray that the company continues to thrive despite the challenges in the industry.”

Mr. Faruk Umar, another shareholder, in his comments, said: “I am happy to say that Seplat has been helping the nation in the sense that the tax that we are paying the government is very significant, not to talk of the dividend that we have been getting in dollars, which has never gone down. Also, this is one of the three companies that I have seen in the capital market having many independent directors and this is good for corporate governance. Seplat’s dual listing is accompanied by the highest level of corporate governance adherence and this is good.”

While commending Seplat Energy on its smooth leadership transition since its inception, a shareholder, Mrs. Oludewa Thorpe, said: “I want to commend the board and management for the smooth transition in leadership that has taken place from 2009 to 2024. This is very good for the company and for corporate governance.”

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