Indigenous Oil Operators Keen On Expansion Amid Downturn

Despite the current downturn in the global oil and gas sector, some indigenous operators in Nigeria are stepping up efforts to snap up more assets as part of their expansion plans

While they are still smarting from the impact of the COVID-19-induced collapse in oil prices and demand, indigenous firms in the country are poised to increase their participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

The Nigerian oil and gas industry has in the past two decades seen a surge in the number of indigenous players, buoyed by the Federal Government’s initiatives and divestment of assets by International Oil Companies operating in the country.

A number of indigenous operators have emerged as key players in the industry, with more access to oil and gas assets on the back of the government’s marginal field programme and recent divestments by the IOCs.

In a bid to boost local participation, the Federal Government encouraged the IOCs to surrender their marginal fields for assignment to indigenous concession holders.

He said his company took an asset that was abandoned for over 20 years, with reserves of about 17 million barrels, and went ahead to do some exploratory work to ramp up overall reserves to about 24 million barrels.

Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc said recently that it had recovered over 19 million barrels and over 90 billion standard cubic feet of gas since the first production from its Ogbele marginal field in 2005.

An energy expert and a former board member of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Alhaji Abdullahi Bukar, said that the local operators could increase their contribution to total oil and gas production in the country if given access to more reserves.

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