As multinational oil and gas companies (the IOCs) divest their interests in mostly onshore ventures in the Gulf of Guinea, new local E&P companies emerge, taking advantage of the divested interests. In many cases these new local ventures underestimate the challenge of maintaining production at inherited levels, and of developing and pursuing growth plans. Danite Limited recognises these challenges and seeks to support these private firms in a cost-effective way. We see the key challenges as follows:
Entrepreneurs that are new to the E&P sector often struggle with the time frame for making returns on their investment. An investor in the downstream oil and gas sector is basically a trader. The most critical success factors in that sector are: (a) A safe and efficient supply and distribution system that keeps costs really low (in view of the razor-thin profit margins), and (b) Attractive retail outlets which consumers would want to patronise. If the investor gets these things right in the downstream, he should be fine.
However, the upstream is a totally different ball game. The most critical success factors are (a) Technology, and (b) Safety and Environment. Drilling a couple of dry wells can sink the business. A few years ago, one multinational company drilled two dry wells offshore Nigeria at a total cost of almost US$200m and that was the end of its venture in the country. On safety and the environment, we have read of some of the world’s worst disasters in the Gulf of Mexico and how respected multinational companies have paid very dearly in both human lives, money and reputation.
Danite Limited seeks to support new investors into the industry by helping them understand the investment journey so they can manage their expectations, and by giving them sound steers as they embark on their first field developments. Sometimes, if they so request, we can provide a project manager who would work with the client’s resources to deliver successful projects.
There is the immediate challenge of technical resourcing due to the dearth of capable technical manpower in the country. The newcomers typically seek to attract experienced technical resources from the IOCs. They soon find out that these technical experts sometimes with decades of experience would not easily leave their current employers with all the stability associated with IOCs, to join newcomers where a lot more is required of them, and with all the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Despite this challenge, with enough carrots, the newcomers do manage to attract some experienced technical resources. Often, these are resources that are close to normal retirement from the multinationals and so have little to lose by retiring early. But the future of the business cannot hinge on senior retired professionals – the newcomers need to invest in some inexperienced resources – typically graduates of technical disciplines – who can be developed very rapidly to be productive. Danite Limited offers to help develop such rookies through training programmes offered by industry veterans. Within a few weeks of employment, young graduates would be able to deliver real useable work that add value.
Affordable Software Tools:
There are well-known big names in the industry when it comes to software tools. For example, when you talk of process simulation, Aspen’s HYSIS is the industry standard. For pipeline studies, you speak of PipeSim – a Schlumberger product. These products have deservedly made their name from the patronage of the industry heavyweight operators. This has fuelled astronomical prices of these products, often beyond affordability of a new entrant into the business. However, from a technical standpoint, these software tools are based on well-known engineering principles, formulae and correlations, and their functionality can be replicated by much more affordable alternatives. This is the concept Danite Limited promotes – Provide useable tools without the mega-prices of the big names. For example, Danite’s RaffloLive (https://rafflolive.com) is a perfect solution for carrying out flow assurance studies of pipelines such as are encountered in the oil and gas fields. RaffloLive is the online version of what used to be a PC-based software called Rafflo, developed in the eighties by the current CEO of Danite Limited. After rigorous testing and validation, Rafflo was adopted by one of the leading IOCs in Nigeria as the official tool for pipeline flow assurance studies. That IOC used Rafflo for 13 years until the company received a directive from its headquarters to only use global industry software. Retaining the core Rafflo engine, Danite has re-created it into RaffloLive – a full on-line application that only requires a web browser to run. It does not require anything to be installed on the user’s device as everything is online. Even an Android tab or an iPad can be used to simulate huge pipeline networks with RaffloLive. It is offered by subscription only. However, participants at our training course on Pipeline Planning and Design automatically receive a 30-day license that enables them carry out hands-on exercises.
Field Development Planning:
The seeds of failure of many failed E&P projects are sown at the development planning stage. At this stage, you need your most experienced professionals who, working as an integrated team of surface and subsurface professionals, with other supporting disciplines like Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), would develop optimal concepts. Danite Limited offers this service.
Dr Raphael Sunday Awoseyin founded Danite Limited. He has four decades experience in the upstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry, covering project management, facilities engineering, maintenance and management of oil and gas production facilities, processing and distribution, process re-engineering and business process integration. He has led formulation of standards, business processes and procedures for upstart E&P companies and championed skills and career development planning for thousands of operations
personnel. He led implementation of SAP (ERP system) for the largest Shell E&P company in the world.
He holds a First-Class BSc (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Greenwich, London and a PhD, also in Mechanical Engineering, specialising in Pipeline Hydraulics. He is a graduate of IMD (Lausanne) Program for Executive Development and of Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) Executive Development Program. He is a Master of Business Process Re-engineering.
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