An independent report in March 2016 estimated that the Noa prospect on the licence had 237.1mln barrels of recoverable, contingent oil resources.
Shorecan, the joint venture, is trying to arrange the finance to drill an appraisal well and in November said it had started discussions with a second large oil service provider operating in West Africa.
This party is offering financing alongside services for the OPL226 development project and is reported to have strong familiarity with the region.
"We are delighted to have been approached by another large oil service provider, which is very familiar with the region,” added Arthur Millholland, COPL chief executive.
“Not only are they offering the provision of services, but also financing.
“This level of interest reaffirms our long-term view that OPL226 is an attractive opportunity with significant upside potential.”
The Noa prospect is some 50 kilometres offshore Nigeria in the central part of the Niger Delta.
Millholland said the company’s “preparedness, enthusiasm and persistence have not diminished one little bit."
Early production plan
If the appraisal well is successful it could potentially be brought online as part of an early production scheme, along with three further wells that would precede a full development of the field.
In July, Shorecan agreed to a project financing and offtake agreement term sheet for between US$30mln to US$50mln with Mauritius Commercial Bank and commodities trading group Trafigura.
The facility would cover expenses after an initial production well has been drilled and tested by ShoreCan’s 80% owned affiliate Essar Nigeria.
Receiving the money requires US$33 mln of additional funding from ShoreCan and US$100 mln funding from an offshore oil services group.
Shorecan is entitled to 80% of the Essar Nigeria vehicle that holds the OPL 226 licence.
Essar is now in dispute with ShoreCan and claims the joint venture has not commenced funding of US$80mln as agreed.
COPL believes that Essar’s case has no merit, noting in November that the 60-day actionable period had lapsed.
Shoreline Energy is a Lagos-based energy and infrastructure company and is one of Nigeria’s largest conglomerates with a portfolio comprising 16 operating companies and over 3,000 employees, covering sectors from energy and infrastructure to telecoms and investments.
In November, house broker Shore Capital said: “As COPL pursues its funding and operational plans for OPL226, we continue to see scope for some important catalysts as activities progress for an asset with significant potential.”
COPL is valued at £6.2mln at 0.24p.