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U.S. Navy Turns Seawater Into Fuel

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1 U.S. Navy Turns Seawater Into Fuel on 28th April 2014, 11:12 pm


A MAJOR breakthrough is imminent in the energy sector as
there are indications that some United States (U.S.) Navy
scientists have successfully developed a way to convert
seawater into jet fuel, calling it a potentially-revolutionary
Meanwhile, SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc on Monday
heralded a new era for Nigerian exploration and production companies
as its shares began trading on the Official Trading List of the Nigerian
Stock exchange (NSE). The company’s shares closed at N604.80 at
the end of its first day of trading.
In a related development, an indigenous firm, Seven Energy
International Limited, has secured $255 million (about N40.8 billion)
equity funding from global investors to further develop gas supply
opportunities in Nigeria’s energy market.
According to ‘The Huffington Post’, researchers at the Naval
Research Laboratory (NRL) developed technology to extract
carbon-dioxide from seawater while simultaneously producing
hydrogen, and then converted the gasses into hydrocarbon
liquid fuel. The system could potentially trim hours off the at-
sea refuelling process and eliminate time spent away from
Currently, most of the Navy’s vessels rely entirely on oil-based fuel,
with the exception of some aircraft carriers and submarines that use
nuclear propulsion, reports the International Business Times. The
ability to render fuel from seawater may change that.
Vice Admiral Philip Cullom said: “For us in the military, in the Navy, we
have some pretty unusual and different kinds of challenges. We don’t
necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel. Our gas station comes to
us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship. Developing a game-
changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that
reinvents a lot of the way we can do business when you think about
logistics, readiness.”
NRL noted that the carbon and hydrogen gasses produced
from the seawater extraction process are converted to liquids
using metal catalytic converters in a reactor system and that
liquid product contains hydrocarbon molecules with carbon
levels suitable for replacing petroleum jet fuel.
The Navy successfully used the new fuel-from-seawater
process to power a radio-controlled scale-model replica of a
World War II aircraft with an internal combustion engine.
Cullom added: “Basically, we’ve treated energy like air,
something that’s always there and that we don’t worry about
too much. But the reality is that we do have to worry about
The NRL projects the new fuelling system could be commercially-viable
in less than 10 years and could produce jet fuel that costs $3-6 dollars
per gallon.
Forbes columnist Tim Worstall sounded a caution, saying the system
could be great for the Navy, but he doubts if it will be an economically-
feasible or energy-efficient alternative for people on land.
“We need more energy to go into the process than we get out of it. As
a general rule, it’s not really all that useful. We want to produce
energy, not just transform it with efficiency losses along the way,” he
The dual listing of the company’s shares on the NSE and the London
Stock Exchange (LSE) follows the successful completion of its IPO,
which was over-subscribed.
SEPLAT announced its intention to float on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in
which it said it was seeking to raise $500 million and thereafter list,
simultaneously, on the NSE and LSE.
Facts and figures that have emerged following the successful
completion of the book building exercise and allotment of shares
indicate that SEPLAT offer was hugely successful and over-subscribed.
On Wednesday, April 9, 2014, the company announced that its Offer
Price had been set at NGN 576 per Ordinary Share for shares to be
listed on the Official Trading List of the NSE (the “Offer Price”) and 210
pence per Ordinary Share for shares to be traded on the LSE’s main
Based on the Offer Price, the total market capitalisation of SEPLAT at
the commencement of conditional dealings will be approximately
£1.14 billion (equivalent to $1.90 billion or N3.13 billion) (excluding
the exercise of the over-allotment option).
The Global Offer comprises a base offering (the “Base Offer”) of
143,284,130 new shares issued by the company, representing 26.4
per cent of the company’s enlarged issued share capital (excluding the
exercise of the over-allotment option)
The Base Offer raised gross proceeds of approximately £300.9 million
(equivalent to $500 million or N82.5 billion) while the Over-allotment
Option shall consist of 10,336,183 new shares representing 15 per
cent of the final amount allocated to investors outside of Nigeria (the
“International Offering”) in the Base Offer. The Over-allotment Option
can be exercised for a period of 30 calendar days from April 9, 2014.
Reacting to the Development, Dr. ABC Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT
said: “We are delighted with the support shown and happy to welcome
a range of blue chip investors to our share register. Despite a
challenging market for oil and gas stocks, the response has been
excellent and demonstrates strong demand in both London and at
home for a leading Nigerian indigenous E&P player” while the CEO,
Austin Avuru, added that “we are already a leading indigenous
independent in our home market but the opportunities opening up in
Nigeria for companies like ours are significant.”
As the company stated in its intention to float announcement, the net
proceeds of the Global Offer will primarily be used to acquire and
develop new acquisitions, and/or pay down any additional debt raised
in connection therewith, of both onshore and shallow offshore
acreages, assets and joint venture farm-ins. Approximately $48 million
shall be used to pay down in full a shareholder loan from Maurel &
Prom International (“MPI S.A”).
A statement by the Chief Executive Officer, Seven Energy, Phillip
Ihenacho, yesterday said the facility was secured from global
financiers, including Singapore’s investment company, Temasek,
International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IFC African, Latin American
and Caribbean Fund.
Giving the breakdown, it stated that Temasek committed $150 million,
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, committed $75 million, while
the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund (IFC ALAC Fund)
committed $30 million.
“The investments will be in two tranches, the timing of which is
subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions in the investment
agreements,” it stated.
According to Ihenacho, “the institutions are investing in Seven
Energy’s irredeemable convertible loan notes which bear no coupon
and are akin to equity capital. On a converted and fully diluted basis,
on full satisfaction of the investment agreements, the new investors
would account for approximately 26 per cent of the equity capital of
the group.
“This new equity capital will assist Seven Energy in the development of
its growing portfolio of assets in Nigeria where the group is focusing on
the development of upstream reserves and resources and gas
infrastructure to provide gas to the domestic market for power
generation and industrial consumption.”

2 Re: U.S. Navy Turns Seawater Into Fuel on 30th April 2014, 1:31 am


hmmmm! Wonder shall never end

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