Many independent Nigerian oil & gas companies have emerged over the last decade out ofthe divestments of ageing petroleum assets by multinational oil companies. Thesetransactions are marked by pervasive cases of overvaluation and huge gap in offers that leadto unnecessarily high acquisition costs.
Petroleum analysts around the world adopt the Discounted Cashflow Analysis method forestimating present value of future oil production revenues. Unfortunately, project economicsusing conventional analysis does not de-risk the reserves components appropriately oraccount for the excess and political risk premiums. Even when analysts derive the NetPresent Value from conventional evaluation, say at discount rates of say 10% or 15%, theyface the dilemma of extracting offer price from that figure. Some post a conservative offerbased on 50% NPV, while others throw in all the NPV in a scheme to win the bid at all cost. Some also start by guesstimating value by rule of thumb and then offer the NPV that is leftbehind. The decision to offer a given percentage of the NPV is entirely subjective and variesamongst investors and as such does not depict a logical perception of market value, or therisks thereof. Furthermore, by omitting political risk, buyers are invariably ignoring the mostcrucial risk of all. The adoption of different bases of reserves tend to compound the problemby yielding NPVs that are few and far between each other. They are usually based on un-risked ‘proved plus probable’ (2P) reserves, which is highly speculative and unrealistic forvaluation.
For the first time, the concerns of high purchase price and offer gaps were debuggedleveraging the new Risk-Based Valuation approach which is based on a modified Discounted Cashflow model. A research deeply investigates the problems first by reconstructing originaltransaction to identify the root causes. Furthermore, the study concludes that buyers arepaying on average 4 times the value and that regulating reserves base is fundamental inorder to minimize offer gaps that sometimes tend to a billion dollars for large deals. Thus, the Risk-Based Discounted Cashflow Analysis technique can help prevent overpricing orunderpricing of Nigerian assets, minimize offer gaps in the market as well as account for theimpact of political risks (or its mitigation) in valuation.