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Exclusive! Indimi & Buhari: Family Ties Make For Happy Business

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Exclusive! Indimi & Buhari: Family Ties Make For Happy Business

Exclusive! Indimi & Buhari: Family Ties Make For Happy Business
September 18
16:44 2018

Muhammadu Indimi, head of Nigerian concern Oriental Energy Resources (OER), is determined to expand his already sizeable portfolio with the acquisition of new assets during the next marginal fields tender. The sale should take place after the presidential election in February 2019 for which current President Muhammadu Buhari will seek a second term. Buhari coincidently has a strong family connection to the Indimi family.

The deposits up for grabs

OER is one of the most profitable oil & gas firms in Nigeria, thanks to its Ebok and Okwok fields located on OML 67. While Ebok produces 26,000 bpd, Okwok (50 million barrels) is not yet in production. According to our sources, Indimi stands in good stead with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to pick up additional marginal fields located in OML 67 that should all be included in the future tender package. The latest list doing the rounds within the DPR refers to five deposits on this concession: Amaniba (15.4 million barrels), Ede (49.6), Ekpat (32.7), Idiok (2.3) and Ndibe (1.2).

These deposits represent a combined 101 million recoverable barrels. Given the Nigerian junior’s good relations with the block operator, ExxonMobil, and the smooth running of its operations on Ebok, OER feels it is in pole position to land the jackpot. A position strengthened by the fact that the company already has facilities on site at Ebok that would help it easily develop these five other deposits.

Who can Indimi count on?

Indimi is not one to let the future decide for itself. As well as holding a tight ship, the Nigerian businessman who hails from the northern Borno region, has forged an extensive network of influence, mainly through family marriages. As we revealed  in December 2016 the President Buhari’s daughter Zahra Buhari married Ahmed Indimi, son of the OER boss . Indimi, son, oversees crude oil sales for his father’s firm. His sister, Rahma Indimi, was married to Muhammed Babangida, the son of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida, who was in power between 1985 and 1993 though still has considerable clout in the country.

OER’s senior executive vice president is the widow of the late son, who died in a motorcycle accident, of Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, minister of energy under Sani Abacha and now chairman of New Nigeria Development Co (an investment conglomerate owned by the 19 Northern States of Nigeria).  Indimi reportedly prompted the departure of several senior company executives who disagreed with her management  and could also find herself on the chopping board. Muhammadu Indimi has hopes in Buhari’s re-election in February next year to win favours from the head of state and pocket the deposits he has been eyeing up.

Afren’s downfall, OER’s chance

When Afren went bankrupt in July 2015 the firm’s 40% stake in Ebok and 28% in Okwok were taken over by its partner OER without a single cent of compensation to AlixPartners, the firm hired to recover sums to pay off creditors . AlixPartners doubts that it will see the money for Afren’s assets anytime soon. This status quo, made possible thanks to the Indimi family’s might in Nigeria, has meant that it has pocketed most of the sizeable revenue from Ebok for the past three years. An operation made all the more lucrative as these marginal fields are taxed less than other fields operated by majors in the country.

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