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PAID POST: NOGA Awards Celebrates the Top 25 Oil Companies


The Nigerian Oil and Gas Awards NOG A ceremony will hold at the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria on Friday 27th March, 2020.

In collaboration with the award-winning Africa Oil+Gas Report, the TOP 25 Oil and Gas companies operating in Nigeria are nominated for the awards in Seven categories following strict performance guidelines.

The Top 25 for year 2019 include oil service companies, both local and international, E&P companies, both indigenous independents, majors and super majors, marine facility operators, shipyards, logistics companies and so on.

The awards are for innovation, Corporate social responsibility, Environmental responsibility and Marine services categories; to mention a few.

In attendance will be the CEOs of these 25 companies along with the Honorable Minister of state for Petroleum Resources Hon. Timipre Silva as the special guest of honor at the event.

The NOGA awards is an annual event which partners with Africa Oil+Gas Report, and the LONDON STOCK EXCHAGE [LSE] (where some of these nominated 25 companies are already listed), to identify, promote and acknowledge the outstanding contributions of organizations and individuals who typify the most admirable business values in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry while contributing to the nation’s economic growth.




Oil Companies Work towards the Industrial State


Nigeria’s hydrocarbon sector has largely been about extraction of crude oil for export and importation of petroleum products for consumption.

And when the authorities talk about diversification of the country’s economy, the focus isn’t always about diversification within the hydrocarbon industry itself.

“We should include talk about diversification within the oil industry”, says Ebi Omatsola, founding Chief Executive of Conoil.

This kind of thinking is already enshrined in the draft National Oil and Gas Policies, widely circulated in 2016, but not gazetted.

One company that has actively interrogated the industrial economy through its hydrocarbon assets is Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) Limited.

Layi Fatona, who just left the mantle of the CEO, explains in this video.

Petralon Sets the Bar High


By Foluso Ogunsan

On a rainy July afternoon in Lagos, the hub of West African commerce, Ahonsi  Unuigbe is seated in his office, contemplating the next five years.

The former Citi Bank banker founded Petralon Energy only five years ago, put money into work in buying equity in a marginal field in the east of the Niger Delta Basin and is on schedule to resume crude oil production on the asset in the next month.

But that’s done. Unuigbe has moved on: he’s engaging putative partners for more asset acquisition. He is scaling up.

“Our core focus is to find and unlock oil reserves and oil production in the most cost-efficient way, using the best technology and the most efficient means, primarily in Nigeria to start off, then onwards to the rest of Africa”, he says. “We bring this same focus to our business in the midstream industry which is crude trading and supply”.

Set up in May 2014, Petralon wanted to get involved in the proposed 2013/2014 Marginal Field Bid Round exercise.  The round didn’t happen, so in late 2014/early 2015, the company farmed into the Dawes Island Marginal field held by Eurafric, itself an awardee in the 2003 Marginal Field Bid Round.

The capital injected by Petralon was expended in re-entering and side-tracking the existing discovery well drilled by Chevron in 1978. Its total investment from 2014 till present on the 14Million barrel (2P reserves) field is at circa $20Million. Petralon and the Joint Venture contracted a Crude Offtake and Purchase agreement with Shell Trading, but the difficulty of finding a viable evacuation route necessitated the shutdown of production activities until recently, when a new agreement involving an alternative evacuation route, via barging to an FPSO, with the same offtaker, will see the production resume in the month of August 2019. The venture aims to start at 2,000 barrels of oil per day, ramping production to 3,500 barrels of oil per day by 2H 2020.

Petralon aims to grow production seven-fold and net reserves by 500%.


A number of mid-size transactions are at different levels of progression. In one deal-in-the-making, the two subject fields hold 2P reserves of between 30 and 60Million barrels. A second transaction involves a relatively large acreage holding more than 100Million barrels in reserves. Petralon sets its sights on net production of 15,000 barrels of crude oil by year end 2023. Tall order.

Part of the drive to achieve this is assembling a stellar cast of Industry and business personnel on its board. Mutiu Sunmonu, former MD Shell Nigeria Limited is Chairman and shareholder in Petralon Energy. So is Aigboje Imokhuede, former Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank and founder, Coronation Capital, Tunde Folawiyo, an established business leader and head of the Yinka Folawiyo Group. These were all, with Unuigbe, anchor investors in the company.

In June 2017, Petralon partnered with the bespoke construction company Julius Berger Nigeria to provide construction and pre-fabrication works during the Operation and Maintenance stage prior to production of any asset it gets its hand on. They will also be involved in dredging and tug-boating activities for assets located in swamp or shallow water terrains. These roles are complementary to the partnership intention for Julius Berger to participate as an equity investor with shareholder rights in the acquisition vehicles.

Another partnership agreement exists with METSCO Oil, a Swiss-based outfit whose leadership team has extensive working experience in Nigeria with Addax Petroleum on two shallow water leases – OML 123 and OML 126 for nearly two decades. The team oversaw the growth of Addax production peaking north of over 70,000 barrels per day, following its acquisition of the aforementioned assets formerly owned by Ashland. “They understand the stratigraphy as some of the fields they’ve worked on are actually contiguous to the assets we’re looking at now. Same geology, same zones, some straddle zones. They also bring an access to an international European pool of investments to complement again our own alternative local and international investor pool which we have to tap into”, Unuigbe explains.

A third agreement is with a yet undisclosed international oil trader for offtake arrangements on acquired assets in exchange for funding.  Petralon Energy would be the operator/ licence holder of all three of these assets.

The assets that Petralon is targeting have different evacuation mechanisms; one asset makes use of the existing Trans-Forcados Pipeline route, the other two will have FPSOs stationed on the block which are in shallow water of about 50 metres. The success with Dawes Island has proven Petralon’s competence is working up a proven, low-risk asset. That’s the first phase.

This second part of its growth is to gain scale by committing acquisition and development capital to mid-sized producing/near term production assets, aimed at materially improving its production and reserve base. For this end, the company has set out to raise capital from the Nigeria market to the tune of $80 -100Million, thus bringing in new shareholders to the company. It has also commenced discussion around credit facilities that are medium-termed structured which tie into the project payback period with two financial institutions. This equity and debt capital mix, complemented by other funding sources such as offtake financing will be used to fund the Company’s acquisition and development funding requirements for the target assets.

CEO Ahonsi Unuigbe’s financial industry background comes to play here. He is a recipient, he says, of the project financing award for the first Reserve Based Lending (RBL) by an indigenous company for OML26 by First Hydrocarbon Nigeria(FHN) which was done in 2011 and later refinanced by Access Bank. “We run sensitivities and scenarios as proper finance people do, looking at the low case scenario and unless a project is sustainable at a low case oil price environment, we do not take it on. All the projects we’re talking about are sustainable at $45 oil per barrel. $40 oil just means the payback period is longer…what you thought was a three to four-year payback becomes a seven to eight year payback”. The acquisition and financing of the three assets is the core focus of the company from this year till the next. Petralon Energy has a financial and technical service role in all three assets it is seeking to operate. The first of the three assets to reach finalization of agreement prior to production will likely be by Q4 2019. Two of those assets presently producing, will be primed for further increase while the third will take a year and half to reach production status.

Born and raised in Lagos Nigeria, Ahonsi Unuigbe schooled in Nigeria, completing his university and higher-level education in United Kingdom. He started off his banking career with Citi Bank, worked and lived in various places – Nigeria, Dakar, Abidjan, Paris. He later joined Standard Bank, where as a General-Manager, he initially led the banks Project and Structured Finance Group and subsequently had responsibility for the Public Sector and International Organisation Coverage within Standard Bank’s subsidiary Stanbic IBTC. He was also seconded by the bank, as an Adviser to the Minister of Finance under the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo, then later as the Pioneer Commissioner in charge of Budget, Planning and Economic Development in his home state of Edo during the first tenure of Adams Oshiomhole.  Married with four children, he likes to play tennis.

This young company aims to become a Nigerian operator in the interim and a regional operator subsequently, branching into upstream activities in other West African countries, with an eventual dual listing in a foreign and local bourse. All within his 5-year growth plan. Ambitious target for this driven individual with Pan-African and International aspirations.




A Grip on Oil Flow Rates With Neftemer

It is statistically insignificant to sequentially feed the flow from each oil wellhead once a month, to a central test separator so as to evaluate the well production performance and determine the flowrate of each phase (oil, gas and water) after separation; it is unrepresentative and inaccurate. Wells seldom flow at constant rates and the ‘one-day’ test separator rate is a random sample of one, out of thirty possible rates. This is statistically insignificant.

Neftemer™ is a non-intrusive clamp-on Multiphase Meter that measures unseparated crude oil flow in well flowlines and oil-flow pipelines. It provides measurement of oil, produced water and associated gas in the following units: liquid mass flow, tons/day; gas volumetric flow, m3/day and water cut, mass fraction. Preferably, Neftemer is installed on a vertical section of pipeline with flow upward. When in operation, its parts do not come in contact with the product fluids, do not change its direction, do not produce extra hydraulic resistance, nor does it influence the hydrodynamic characteristics of the flow or the physical and chemical properties of the product fluids. The measurements are taken without conditioning the flow (i.e. without homogenization or separation).

This clearly eliminates the persistent issues associated with back allocation for obvious fiscal reasons. The oil rate is accurately measured directly at the wellhead; the gas flow is not diverted to the flare where bulk of the gas may or may not be measured but the Neftemer measures this volume upstream of the well; also, it accurately captures the water flow rate.

At the separator where BSW is determined, back allocation of gas volume and water rate remain problematic. Moreover, in practice, total Flow-Station rates (fluid flow), are seldom used even when the oil rate injected into a bulk export line is accurately metered e.g. via an available LACT unit. Rather, each contributory flow station is assigned a volume based on a so-called reconciliation factor, determination of which is opaque in most cases.

This practice simply does not make room for a representative and accurate determination of oil, gas and water rates simultaneously; a task required for optimal tuning of the well, and effective reservoir management practices.

How does the Neftemer Multiphase Meter achieve all this seamlessly? The secret is in its construction. It comprises of a gamma-ray attenuation transducer which is located near the wellhead in a hazardous area with secondary equipment comprising a data processing unit located in a safe area in a control or equipment room. A user display (personal computer) and printer may be used for setting this up. The gamma-ray attenuation meter comprises a gamma radiation source mounted in a source housing and a flameproof gamma radiation detector all mounted on a special mounting bracket. The density and composition of the unseparated well fluids as well as gas flow velocities, are determined from the attenuation of gamma radiation.

As a clamp-on device, it can be mounted without cutting the flow line; upstream of the pipeline. The length of straight pipe both upstream and downstream of the gamma ray beam should be not less than 0.5m. It also has other plush parameters including two communication links (see Fig. 1). The DCS link is used to provide measurement results to the customer. Output data will be: oil, water and gas flow rates, water cut, average density of flow. The auxiliary link is intended for downloading data archives by a service engineer.

Finally, production engineers need to know if the well is operating within its performance envelope or not and tune it appropriately. Reservoir engineers need accurate oil, gas and water rates to carry out meaningful material balance calculations and determine total underground withdrawal for each reservoir; run realistic reservoir simulation models and generate meaningful medium and long term production forecasts for the business. Current operations practice and use of ‘one-day’ test separator rates simply do not allow for these essential and critical calculations to be accurately carried out. This practice also leads to endless disputations between the field operator and regulators over what volumes royalty calculations should be based upon. With Neftemer™, however, impactful reservoir management and peace of mind is assured.

This is a paid post, sponsored by Geotrex


Nominees Announced For Nigeria Oil & Gas Awards (NOGA)


A list of nominees has been announced for the four categories listed in the inaugural Nigeria Oil and Gas Awards (NOGA).

The categories include Company of the Year, Award for Innovation, Corporate Social Impact and Woman of the Year.

The ceremony is scheduled to hold at the Intercontinental Hotels in Lagos on the 1st of November, 2019.

“These awards present a significant opportunity to promote and acknowledge the outstanding contributions and excellence of organizations and individuals who typify the most admirable business values in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry while contributing to the nation’s economic growth”, says Naomi Okoja, project coordinator and head of steering committee of the awards.

Eighteen companies have been nominated for these categories following strict performance guidelines.

Niger Delta Exploration and Production, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, ND Western Limited, Aiteo Exploration &Production, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigerian Ltd, and Chevron Nigeria Limited are in the running for the Company of the Year Award while the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), LEKOIL, WalterSmith Petroman Oil Limited, BakerHughesGE, Petrolex, OilServ, LADOL, and Nestoil are the final nominees in the Award for Innovation category.

The Corporate Social Impact category sees Belemaoil Producing Company, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), LEKOIL, First E&P, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Seplat Petroleum Development Company and the NLNG Limited vying for the top spot.

Brittania U’s Catherine Uju Ifejika, LADOL’s Amy Jaiyesimi (Ph.D), TOTAL’s Barbara Patrick Isicheli, Ashrami Energy Limited’s Olajumoke Ajayi Chevron’s Michelle Obatoyinbo and CONOIL’s Abimbola Adenuga are the nominees in the Woman of the Year category.

This event is supported by:


Memo on The Global Energy Village

By Grard Kreeft

Outlining the Vision

In 2020 the Global Energy Village will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. We enjoy the institutional support from GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe) and IGU (International Gas Union).  What started in Paris as a gas storage event focusing on the storage operators has now evolved to become an institutional strategic link. Hydrogen storage. The strategic missing piece in the renewable energy and energy transition debate. Battery storage can provide some relief but the huge capacity of the gas storages are in essence the key  strategic links in any discussion regarding energy transition.

The Global Energy Village has viewed the gas market unbundling, the evolvement of the storage market, the optimism of gas buyers and sellers, and the pessimism that has clouded the market for the last 5-7 years . Reactions have been mixed. Some storage operators are waiting for a better day; others are beginning to shut  their storages down; and still others are merging their activities.

One bright note has been the power-to gas transition: first the discussion of whether the gas networks could tolerate   a minimal mixture of hydrogen (H2). This discussion has evolved to new visions . Not whether natural gas networks can tolerate a minimum amount of H2 but how in the next 25 years the natural gas networks can be converted to H2 networks. Witness H21 in Leeds and the plans of Gasunie in the Netherlands. This is the vision.

The technical implementation and roll-out to a critical public are the next vital steps. Technically we are fast approaching acceptance from the energy community. RAG’s Sun Project has demonstrated that hydrogen storage will happen! Further evidence is being shown by the field trials now being carried out by Gasunie. And of course the Leeds H21 project.

The Rollout

The next phase will be the rollout to the Storage Community, both in Europe and Asia.  Given its long track record, my consulting company, EnergyWise,  can play a serious role. Our staging area is Leeds. In 2019 and again in 2020. Parallel to the European Global Energy Village GEV) we will be also launching a GEV in Japan to coincide with the Japanese 2020 Summer Olympics.  The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMC) seeks to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) and use the Olympic Games as a springboard.

Japan’s goal is that by 2030, it will reduce its CO2 emissions 26% below 2013 levels. In 2014 the Japanese Government unveiled its strategic Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Roadmap.

At the last three Global Energy Village venues Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has presented and updated us on its Green (Hydrogen) Value Chain.  The project is focused on the mass production of H2 utilizing brown coal imported from Australia. The value chain uses similar patterns adopted for Japan’s LNG imports. A long lead time and a project with a long-term perspective (25 years plus). We hope to build on these experiences for our Japanese Global Energy Village.


April – November 2019 Marketing and Drafting Programme

Advisory Committee Meetings Europe & Japan

Note: We are looking for industry champions who see this as an opportunity to expand their energy horizons!

December- March 2020 Finalization Programme

Advisory Committee Meetings Europe & Japan

April 2020 Global Energy Village 2020 Summit

September/October 2020 Global Energy Village Summit


Gerard Kreeft, MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is founder and owner of EnergyWise.  The company has since 2001 managed and implemented the Global Energy Village in various European venues. The company has worked throughout  the globe: Angola,  Brazil, Canada, India, Kazakhstan, Libya and Russia  implementing oil and gas  conferences, seminars and master classes

President Lourenço Talks Restructuring, Invites All to Angola Oil & Gas Conference, 2019


Dear friends

The executive has been working on creating a business environment more favorable to domestic and foreign private investment in all branches of our economy.

We understand the need to diversify our economy, but remain cognizant of the fact that oil is the engine of our economic activity.

In recent times we have changed our policy of managing energy resources such as oil and gas to better serve the interests of the country and investors.

This new era in oil and gas is the result of Angola having adopted a totally transparent management of the tenders. Creating a national Agency that becomes the concessionaire of the country’s petroleum resources. Sonangol is also being restructured to focus on the production, refining and distribution of petroleum products and natural gas.

In summary, we are applying the best international practices in a fundamental sector for the economy of Angola. We will explain this in detail at the international conference “Angola Oil & Gas 2019”, which we will hold in Luanda, from June 4 to 6, to which all invited.

We count on everyone!

João Gonçalves Lourenço is the President of Angola

Drilling Contractors Hold Their Seventh Summit

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Nigeria Chapter has held its 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

Ote Enaibe, current Chairman of the group, listed the activities of the outgoing year, which included Technical Sessions, Government and Regulatory Events, HSE AWARDS Ceremony, 2018 IADC Conference participation and five (5) new members joining the body.

L-R, Chuks Enwereji, Marvelyn Ehika, Juliet Adesunloye and Ote Enaibe, IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER Exco

Vice-Chairman Chuks Enwereji reviewed the year’s overall Health Safety and Environment performance, which is the most crucial set of metrics in the drilling industry.

In spite of its importance, members’ participation in the HSE review is low. For three years running, 2016-2018, only seven out of the 25 corporate members have participated in the HSE Review. The Vice Chairman pleaded for increased member participation. Drilling activities man-hours done in Africa accounts for the third highest amount in the world-wide drilling space. Conversely the continent accounts for the second highest amount of fatalities. Nigeria is a major African player. Reducing Total Recordable Incidence Rate (TRIR) is an IADC targeted mandate. Cardinal Drilling won the HSE Award for 2018. The next HSE Award ceremony holds Q2 2019.

Enwereji applauded members for supporting the Biennial Conference of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). He promoted the 2020 IADC African Drilling Conference, which though championed by Host Chapter Nigeria, will be held in Ghana based upon the cloud of perceived security challenges bedevilling the country.

IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER 2018 AGM Attendees present.


The 2018 IADC Nigeria Chapter Financial Report was presented by Marvelyn Ehika, who was officially confirmed as the new Treasurer of the association at the meeting. Her findings show the association’s 2017 budget was operated with a deficit of 4.5% amounting to a million naira shortfall. At year end 2017, only eight (8) members had fully paid up their association dues. A fall-out of the slump in hydrocarbon business activities occasioned by low oil prices. The 50% drop in subvention fees from membership dues had largely been covered by savings of 2013 bumper harvest. The Draft Budget for 2019 totalling up to Eighteen Million One hundred and Ninety Thousand naira only (N18,190,000.00) was presented by Chairman Enaibe. It is expected to cover the year-long activities of two Technical Sessions- Business Outlook in Q1, HSE Awards Event and Technical Session in Q2.Q3 involves organising training for the Chapter’s field personnel alongside Government and Regulatory Events and Q4 wraps up with the AGM. The draft budget also covers International travels for IADC Conferences, The Secretariat, General Administration and Auditors fees.

Representatives of IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER Member companies in attendance

Olusola Ismail, Secretary of Board Of Trustees (BOT) IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER questioned the rationale of holding the Nigeria Chapter-hosted African Drilling Conference in Ghana, factoring costs, logistics and practicalities rather than Nigeria. Hisham Zebian, Regional Representative IADC Body for Europe, Middle East and Africa whilst agreeing that perceived misinformation about Nigeria contributed to the decision, highlighted cumbersome visa application process by interested attendees from other IADC Chapters as a contributory reason. Ben Agadagba, Member Board Of Trustee IADC NIGERIA chipped in the need for increased participation by heads of drilling companies. Uche of SeaDrill pressed for increased involvement of the IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER in hydrocarbon industry policy drafting process.

Other pertinent issues being tackled by the association include the DPR’s newly-introduced $650 per-rig operative-per annum Offshore Safety Passport (OSP) for offshore rig operations, the combination of PLI, Annual Condition Survey and the fuel storage on rig operations all bundled into one Annual Condition Survey. Weeding out Portfolio drilling contractors and regularising registration procedure(s). Technical sessions for field operatives in oil cities of Port-Harcourt, Uyo etc. Sponsorship, increasing members and Associate Members lists from IOCs, NOCs and Service Companies. Forthcoming change of address by January 2019.


Delivering Impactful Reservoir Management

The Neftemer Multiphase Flow Meter measures the void fraction of the dispersed fluid phase within the continuous physical mixture of oil, gas and water …

The current, industry-wide practice of sequentially feeding the flow from each well once a month, to a central test separator so as to evaluate the well production performance and determine the flowrate of each phase (oil, gas and water) after separation, is unrepresentative and inaccurate. Wells seldom flow at constant rates and the ‘one-day’ test separator rate is a random sample of one out of thirty possible rates. This is statistically insignificant.

Furthermore, of the total flow station phase flows, only the oil rate is accurately directly measured for obvious fiscal reasons. The gas flow will usually be diverted to the flare where the bulk gas may or may not be measured. The water rate is rarely measured. Instead the samples are frequently taken either at wellhead or at separator and sent to the lab for BSW determination. The results are rarely available within six weeks! Consequently, when and if flow station flows are used for back allocation to the various wells, only the oil rate has a chance of being accurate to the extent of the limitation of the ‘one-day’ separator test rate practice mentioned above. Back allocation of the gas and water rate remain problematic.

In practice, total flow station flow rates are rarely used even when the oil rate injected into a bulk export line is accurately metered e.g. via an available LACT unit. Rather each contributory flow station is assigned a volume based on a so-called reconciliation factor, determination of which is opaque in most cases. Genuine line and other losses (theft!) are shared in a manner not entirely satisfactory to all parties leading to endless disputes between terminal owners, operators and regulators. Clearly using these reconciled rates for back allocation to the wells is a formidable challenge the industry has faced almost since the beginning. The practice simple does not make room for the representative and accurate determination of oil, gas and water rates simultaneously required for optimal tuning of the well, and effective reservoir management practices. Operators are forced to move in the blind for much of the time!

Production engineers need to know if the well is operating within its performance envelope or not and tune it appropriately. Reservoir engineers need accurate oil, gas and water rates to carry out meaningful material balance calculations and determine total underground withdrawal for each reservoir; run realistic reservoir simulation models and generate meaningful medium and long term production forecasts for the business. Current operations practice and use of ‘one-day’ test separator rates simply do not allow for these essential and critical calculations to be accurately carried out. The practice also leads to endless disputations between the operator and the regulator over which volumes royalty calculations should be based.

One alternative to the use of test separators is the use of Multiphase Flow Meters. The key information required from a Multiphase Flow Meter includes the flow rate of oil, gas and water. The ideal way to obtain these measurements is by direct and independent measurement at the wellheads before separation.

The Neftemer Multiphase Flow Meter measures the void fraction of the dispersed fluid phase within the continuous physical mixture of oil, gas and water to determine first, the flow regime of the mixture and then determine the flowrate of each phase in a non-intrusive, continuous and consistent manner over a long period of time. It can be used to compliment or even replace test separators.

They are cheap (costing below one fifth of a conventional multiphase meter), are non-intrusive, immune to sand particles and wax deposition. They are also portable, a fact which makes them ideal for offshore applications and rerouting from well to well on a needs basis.

Oil Industry Continues To Support the Lagos Book & Art Festival


The oil industry in Nigeria is stepping forward again this year, in support of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF), the largest culture picnic in Africa and the continent’s most invigorating feast of the written word.

The 20th edition runs from November 5 to 11, 2018.

The most avid supporters have been Pillar Oil and the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, two Nigerian independents.

They have both backed the Festival for Eight of the last 20 Years. Pillar has been particularly generous this year. So has Marine Platforms, a growing oil service firm which was first invited last year. It has come across as the most enthusiastic of the new backers.  Energy & Mineral Resources, a subsurface evaluation firm, has also been helpful.

The theme of this year’s festival is Renewal: A World That Works For All, a subject that is inspired by the need to reflect on the possibilities of shaping the country into a capable state, as the nation’s democracy turns 20 and the sixth general elections in the Fourth Republic are about to hold. The 10 core books, lined up for conversation over the course of the weeklong Festival, reflect, in various ways, ideas of nation building.

Toba Akinmoladun, CEO, NDPR…The company is an enthusiastic supporter

This initiative to strengthen the foundations of Nigeria as a literate society has also been supported, in the past, by Lekoil, a London listed Nigerian operator.

Neconde E&P, which weighed in with its backing in 2015, Midwestern Oil and Gas, which gave significant financial support in 2013 and  Esso Exploration Nigeria, the deepwater subsidiary of ExxonMobil in the country.

Hosted at the Freedom Park, site of an old colonial prison renovated into scenic grounds incorporating an art gallery, an auditorium, a museum, food court, amphitheatre and concert space, LABAF runs two parallel programmes; (1) the Adult programme involving discussions around books, book exhibition and fair, visual art display, poetry slam and musical performances, film screenings and art stampede and (2) a workshop-heavy, interactive Youth programme catering to young people between the ages of 9 and 16.

LABAF’s proposition to Nigeria’s leading oil explorers is to use the event to bolster their image as companies keen on the idea of rejuvenating the culture of book reading and engagement with ideas.

Nigeria is home to 170Million people and part of LABAF’s raison d’être is to convert as many as possible of this number into true human capital.

The Festival encourages oil companies to bring young people from the communities where they operate to participate in the Festival’s youth programme, which involves three days of literacy and literary exercises, art and craft workshops, mentorship and book reviews.

Outside these corporate brands, a number of selfless individual oil workers back the Festival in a significant way; by donating the books that are then sent to reviewers and discussants who make up the panels in the several readings and discussion segments which constitute LABAF.

Dickson Okotie, a consultant Early Production Facility (EPF) engineer, shipped in 10 books in 2013.

Bashir Koledoye, a former Chevron geologist who now owns a geoscience consultancy firm named D’Harmattan, bought copies of nine books in 2014, donated money for books in 2015 and in 2016 delivered six copies of three books (two for each) including The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany, Terrorism and the Politics of Fear by David Altheide, and The Spirit of Terrorism, by Jean Baudrillard.

In 2014, Caritas  PR, a reputation management company focused on the industry, founded by Dayo Ojo, an ExxonMobil “alumnus”, ordered fifteen copies of both the French scholar Thomas Picketty’s hefty tome: Capital in the 21st Century and Dambisa Moyo’s How The West Was Lost, for review and conversation at the Festival. A year after, Caritas donated copies of Joe Stiglitz’s new book: The Great Divide, Unequal Societies and What To Do With Them.

In 2015, Shell geologist Kehinde Olafiranye shipped in 20 copies of books, including Tom Burgis’ The Looting Machine and Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land for the purpose of two sessions at the 17th LABAF.

The earliest donors of books to the Festival included Layiwola Adeniji, a Chevron Nigeria communications specialist and Adedoja Ojelabi, former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) as well as Femi Aisida, a former Petroleum Engineer with Shell, each donating upwards of 20 books for three consecutive years between 2011 and 2013.

LABAF organisers are encouraged by this show of support for the finer elements of human civilisation by companies and individuals whose jobs involve the old fashioned business of extracting fossil fuels. “This tells us something”, says Jahman Anikulapo, programme chairman of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) and the Festival Director, “The Lagos Book and Art Festival is an important event and we will keep driving it”.


Toyin Akinosho, publisher Africa Oil+Gas Report and Secretary General of CORA, organisers of LABAF.



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