080512F1,Oil--drilling-operIndigenous oil firms account for 10 per cent of the nation’s total oil production, the Chairman, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, A.B.C. Orjiako, has said.

Orjiako, who spoke during an oil & gas leadership conference in Accra, Ghana, at the weekend, said indigenous firms contribute would rise to 20 per cent of the nation’s oil output, and 40 per cent of domestic gas supply in the next five years, adding that the local companies are likely to be responsible for 100 per cent supply of domestic refining by the year, 2020.

Orjiako spoke alongside the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Production Company, Mutiu Sunmonu, former Chief Executive of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Chima Ibeneche, as well as the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Local Content Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa. He said 25 local firms are producing 250,000 barrels-per-day of the nation’s 2.5million barrels daily production, adding that the figures not only point to the significance of the indigenous oil players, but also, their rising profile in the industry.

He said the government has since 2003 been pursuing a policy that is geared towards preferential access ing the bid for new acreage.

“Since 2003, the government has favoured the allocation of acreage to indigenous companies during the bid rounds. The Nigerian Content Act (2010) also specifies that Nigerian independent operators be given first consideration in the award of oil blocks.”

Another critical factor in the emergence of independent oil and gas operators, according to Orjiako, was the “Marginal Field Development Programme which ensured that fields left fallow by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), are farmed out to indigenous Exploration & Production companies, which are then granted preferential fiscal incentives.”

Orjiako said 24 “marginal” licences were awarded in 2002 , adding that many of them have begun production.

“Local companies / local company led-consortiums are expected to continue being the beneficiaries of divestitures of onshore/shallow offshore oil blocks by the International Oil Companies that favour deep-water acreage because of their natural advantage in terms of technology, experience and financial capacity, ” he said.

Orjiako noted that aside NPDC, which is a government owned operator, “Seplat is the highest with 52,800 bopd from three fields while Conoil is second with 25,000 from two fields and Midwestern with 13,000bopd , according to a publication of Africa oil and gas report.”


Information from The Nation was used in this report.