Atlantic Energy makes case for indigenous companies in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry

Oil RigMr. Scott Aitken, the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Energy, has stated that while International Oil Companies (IOCs) are responsible for over 90% of production in Nigeria, there are hundreds of undeveloped onshore discoveries, which calls for more indigenous companies like Atlantic Energy to join in taking the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry forward.

He also informed that recently, the Nigerian government tasked the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an operator (and fully owned subsidiary of the NNPC) who are in a strategic alliance with Atlantic Energy, to develop a number of NPDC’s assets to drastically increase its production of crude oil and natural gas.

NPDC has 130,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of current production, with a target of reaching 250,000 bopd by 2015 and significantly increasing the supply of domestic gas to the country to enable an increase in power generation and support local manufacturing industries. Atlantic Energy through its Strategic Alliance with NPDC, is expected to assist NPDC attain this target.

Making these statements at the recently concluded 13th Nigerian Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, the New Atlantic Co-CEO said that a significant portion of Nigeria’s marketed natural gas is processed into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and that this natural gas only constituted 4% of the country’s energy consumption as at 2010; although the power sector privatisation is driving an increased demand for gas, with an installed capacity of 7,000 MW and a target capacity of 16,000 MW by the end of 2013.

Mr. Aitken further stated the challenges facing companies like Atlantic Energy and the wider industry and proffered solutions to the problems ranging from old infrastructure, swamp and land terrain, community stakeholder relationships and expectations, multiple partners/new models, to ambitious targets.

He said they can be addressed through detailed evaluation and phased infrastructure replacement/upgrade, encouragement of swamp and land terrain asset management, community engagements, adding that updates should be assessed, there should be project prioritisation and clear centralisation management structures including strong relationship building, while there is a need to have fast track solutions to deliver early results to fund further development.

Mr. Scott Aitken spoke as chair for a panel discussion on the topic: “Focus on Independents – How are Indigenous Companies Transforming the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry?”

Key points that were discussed included: Creating an enabling environment to encourage Nigerian companies to enter and expand operations; What are the fiscal and regulatory incentives that indigenous companies require?; How can indigenous companies access the technical know-how and financing to further their operations?; and The divestment process from IOCs to indigenous companies successes and pitfalls.

Atlantic Energy was a platinum sponsor at the 13th Nigerian Oil and Gas conference, one of Africa’s largest oil and gas conferences held earlier this week, which attracted a gathering of over 1000 national and international senior level delegates from the Upstream, Midstream and Downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Representatives including the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, H.E. Diezani Alison-Madueke; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), represented by the Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu and Group Executive Director, Exploration & Production, Abiye Membere; International and Indigenous Oil Companies (IOCs), Service Companies; Nigerian and international banks amongst others, attended.

Atlantic Energy is a private upstream oil and gas group founded by Nigerian and international exploration and production (“E&P”) executives with experience in the Nigerian E&P sector and currently operates in Nigeria.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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