Matpatson Petroleum Services is a well engineering and drilling equipment procurement firm, fully engaged in turnkey drilling and associated services. It concluded drilling two wells back-to-back, barely a month ago, on the Ebendo field onshore Western Niger Delta for Energia Petroleum, the Nigerian marginal Field operator. OLUBUKOLA OKULAJA AND OLUMIDE ILESANMI, Matpatson’s Managing Director and General Manager Engineering & Project respectively… spoke with Africa Oil+Gas Report on the growing appetite for turnkey drilling services in the country, focusing on the value of delivering wells on time and on budget. Excerpts:
Africa Oil+Gas Report: Congratulations on delivering two wells back-to-back on Ebendo. There was so much excitement in …
Matpastson: We have done one exploration and one appraisal/development well back-to-back; all on turnkey, for Energia Petroleum, on their Ebendo field in Oil Mining Lease (OML 56).
The idea for contracting well drilling on a turnkey basis is not totally new in the industry, but if you remember, the operator provided everything apart from the actual making of the hole. However, we have gone beyond that, we drill the well and we provide everything. We also provide other services like open-hole logging, for which we make arrangement with other contractors. Basically, the client gives us the coordinates, we design the well and they agree with the design, we also write the programme and they agree with the programme and then we go to execute.
So you are their drilling department in a sense.
Yes and they only have somebody that oversees what we are doing to ensure that it is in line with what we have agreed on. We didn’t just wake up and got there as Matpatson. We have a mission and a vision statement which was written in 2007.
We’d get to your mission statement. The Ebendo story sounds exciting…
Energia was actually going to drill in 2022 and they put out a tender for a rig and we approached them and said why don’t you just give us this job to do and we’d provide all the services.
So for turnkey you also actually have to provide the rig?
Yes you have to provide the rig and everything else. We did all the negotiations and they asked if we had everything and we said yes, they could come visit our warehouse here in Lagos. If they wanted to see some of the completion accessories, then they could come to our warehouse in Port Harcourt. Although we did two wells in this project, we have the capacity to do five wells back to back. if we get a contract today, we don’t need to order anything. We have tubing, we have casing accessories, we have well heads and we have completion accessories all in our warehouse in Port Harcourt. We also have a pipe yard here in Lagos because at a point, it was actually easy to move stuff from here to the Warri zone rather than go from Port Harcourt because of the bad road. We still have pipes for about four wells here and five in Port Harcourt, tubing and casing..
You carried out e-logging on the wells too…and did the completion job?
Yes, we bring in top service companies, supervised by ranking Subject Matter Experts, for the e-logging and we pay them for that service. We actually have a contract with them for such services. But we complete the wells …
It is full oil field servicethat you do then.
Totally correct. Everything is on you; the risk is on you and the benefit is on you as the turnkey contractor. So that is like transferring the entire risk to you and you accept that. If you do your job very well and you have competent people, you are probably not taking too much risk and that is the difference between us and others.
If you did the completion for them you should also know what their current production is.
Well, they haven’t actually run their flow line but off the record, their production is slightly over double.
How much more than 5,000BOPD?
More than that when they open up. They were so impressed with the way we drilled the well and its performance. The first well was the exploration well, Ebendo North. We actually asked them for permission to use these names in publications and they said we can.
We did the job and we handed over the wells to them on the 31st of December, 2022. I think people have a totally different idea of turnkey even though turnkey is not new to the industry. But the Matpatson approach to turnkey is new. The old approach to turnkey: The operator appoints a company to drill a section of the hole. The contractor mentions its cost and it is paid and it drills, but the operator runs the casing and the cement (using other contractors). The drilling contractor is now asked to drill the second section hole for a number of days as well and that was the whole idea of what turnkey was. The competencies were largely retained with the operator but today, the competencies are with us (the drilling contractor, outside the Operator’s system). If you don’t have anybody at all, you can hire a consultant to take a look at what we do, we have all the competencies; not just the drilling competences. What we have done which is different is that for every critical item, we have a subject matter expert. Drilling of course comes under our umbrella. The project manager on the Ebendo work was Olumide Ilesanmi here, our General Manager, Engineering & Projects. He managed everything.
Regarding specialist subject matter experts we have, for open hole wireline, someone who had worked for Schlumberger before for 25 years. For well testing, we have somebody who has worked for Halliburton for like 20 years who is our SME. For mud engineering, we have someone like Dr. Victor Maduka. These people oversee those critical items while the rest are drilling supervisors. If your programme is properly written and the well is properly engineered, those guys are able to carry out the instructions very well. We have performed and done very well.
We have talked about SMEs but what about the people below them? What Matpatson has done is typically to pick up some of our engineers and drilling supervisors from NYSC and train them up. Do you know that Matpatson has a training school?
-TO BE CONCLUDED.
The full interview is published in the January/February 2023 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report, which will be distributed to participants at the Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) scheduled for February 14-16 2023 at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. It will subsequently be published on this website.