18 December 2012

Nigeria: Eland Oil and Gas Makes FTSE Aim 50 Index List

Eland Oil and Gas, a Nigeria focused upstream petroleum company, will be a part of the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) Alternative Investment Market (FTSE AIM) 50 Index from 24 December 2012, the company said in a statement weekend. FTSE AIM 50 Index comprises the 50 largest UK incorporated companies on AIM by market capitalisation.

According to the statement, Eland qualified for the FTSE AIM 50 by dint of its high market capitalisation (approximately £ 150 million) and strong liquidity. Inclusion in the index increases the company's visibility to investors and triggers analyst coverage; widens the investor base by attracting newer classes of investors; helps in comparing the company's performance against a peer group and supports liquidity and future capital raising, the release added.

Eland Oil & Gas was admitted to AIM, the London Stock Exchange's specialised market for growth companies, on September 3, 2012 having raised £118m. The company has a significant financial and operational interest in the OML-40 field located onshore within the Niger Delta.

Commenting on Eland's inclusion in FTSE AIM-50, Head of Primary Markets for Africa at London Stock Exchange, Ibukun Adebayo, said: "Eland Oil and Gas has qualified for FTSE AIM 50, an index of top UK incorporated AIM companies, within three months of joining the market. This is a clear demonstration of the exciting growth potential for smaller Nigerian companies and testament to London and international investors' willingness to support ambitious, fast-growing companies."

AIM is the London Stock Exchange's international market for smaller growing companies. A wide range of businesses including early stage, venture capital backed as well as more established companies join AIM seeking access to growth capital, making it the most successful growth market in the world. Since its launch in 1995, over 3,000 companies from across the globe have chosen to join AIM.

Eland recently announced plans to increase its Nigeria's daily crude production to 50,000 barrels per day (bpd). Managing Director of Eland Oil and Gas Plc, Les Blair disclosed at media briefing in Lagos that the company would commence production in the first quarter of 2013 with an initial daily production of 3,000 barrels per day and the target to grow gross production to 50,000bpd through appraisal and exploration drilling.

Specifically, he said that the group was scheduled to drill two exploration wells on the Abiala prospect in 2013, which, according to data provided by SPDC, will target gross prospective resource of 102mmbbls.

Blair said the acquisition of the asset represented the most significantly step forward in the company's strategy to become a significant oil and gas production business within Nigeria as well as continue to look to expanding its portfolio further as opportunities become available.

Eland Oil and Gas Plc, established a joint venture company, Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, in which the company currently holds 45 per cent of the shares. The balance of the shares in Elcrest is held by a subsidiary of the Chrome Group of Companies, Starcrest Nigeria Energy Limited.

Elcrest completed the purchase of a 45 per cent interest in OML 40 jointly from three leading international oil companies, namely Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, for a total consideration of $154 million. The remaining 55 per cent interest is held by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

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