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How I Made it in Oil& Gas -Wole Ogunsanya, CEO, Geoplex

Geoplex Drillteq has, in the last 24 months, extended its business outboard of the oilfield service specialization, for which it is widely known. The Nigerian owned firm acquired a fleet of five land rigs from KCA Deutag; grabbed a technical partnership stake in the Nigerian operations of Yinson Holdings, which owns the Abigail Joseph FPSO, producing crude on Anyala field. Geoplex holds a 40% equity in Ndibe, one of the newly awarded marginal fields and, the company tells us, it has won a contract in the Electricity Supply Industry to build sub stations. What else does it not do? Geoplex is even thinking of embedded power generation.

In an interview with Africa Oil+Gas Report, we felt we had to find out from WOLE OGUNSANYA, the company founder and Chief Executive, how he spotted the opportunity…

AOGR: Do you want to give us a bit of a background history on how you got into the oil and gas business?

Geoplex MD: I graduated from the University of Lagos in 1987 and I went to Schlumberger to do my National Youth Service. After one year, I was offered a job as an engineer trained in different places in electric wireline. I also managed those businesses either as a field service manager or as an operations manager for the country. I worked basically all over the world but mostly in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. After a while, I thought it was time to leave. I left Schlumberger with some of my colleagues to start Geoplex. I spent about 13 years and we established this company in 2002 and we started our first operation in 2004. It took us two years to look for work, raise fund and buy the first set of equipment. From there, the rest is history in terms of us growing from one service to the other. That made us to have these multi-service portfolios which culminated in us acquiring the KCA-Deutang rigs and services in Nigeria in March 2022. I hope that is short enough for you.

AOGR: No, it’s not enough: how did you spot that opportunity because 13 years is really a short time because, relatively, people hang on to companies for a long time.

Geoplex MD: Schlumberger, in our own time, went round the world in the countries that they operate and hired the best engineers that they could find. In those days, you are just one engineer with your two technicians and you would be working for 2-3 days without sleeping. The job was extremely difficult and the attrition rate was high. Some of us had that attitude that we were going to do our job to the best of our abilities, but we also thought, if they were going to ask us to go, then we were prepared to go. There was never a strong mindset to seek a career in Schlumberger. The mindset was to do your job very well, have experience and try and save as much as money as you can so that if they ask you to leave…

This is a teaser…Watch this space for the full interview…

Ed Daniels, Shell’s Director of Strategy, to Step Down, as Unit is Discarded

Shell plc has announced the discontinuation of its Strategy, Sustainability and Corporate Relations (SSCR) Directorate in far reaching organization changes as Wael Sawan, the company’s new CEO, moves to stamp his authority.

Ed Daniels, Director of the SSCR, will step down from the Executive Committee effective July 1, 2023, and leave Group service thereafter. “Strategy will be brought together with New Business Development and, alongside Sustainability, will report direct to Sinead Gorman, Chief Financial Officer, enabling more streamlined planning and better capital allocation decisions”, Shell declares in a statement. ”Corporate Relations will report direct to Wael Sawan, Chief Executive Officer”.

The reorganization effectively reduces the size of the Executive Committee (EC) from nine to seven members “in a decisive move designed to simplify the organisation further and improve performance as we deliver our Powering Progress strategy”, the statement adds..

Under the changes, which are expected to take effect on July 1, 2023, Shell’s Integrated Gas and Upstream businesses will be combined to form a new Integrated Gas and Upstream Directorate led by current Upstream Director, Zoe Yujnovich. The Downstream business will be combined with Renewables & Energy Solutions to form a new Downstream and Renewables Directorate led by current Downstream Director, Huibert Vigeveno.

“I’m making these changes as part of Shell’s natural, and continuous, evolution”, says Wael Sawan, “Our core purpose is to provide energy to our customers, safely and profitably, while helping them, and us, to decarbonise. I believe that fewer interfaces mean greater co-operation, discipline and speed, enabling us to focus on strengthening performance across the businesses and generating strong returns for our investors”.

Chevron Names Mark A. Nelson Vice Chairman

Chevron Corporation has announced that Mark A. Nelson, executive vice president, Strategy, Policy & Development, has been named vice chairman and executive vice president, Strategy, Policy & Development, effective February 1, 2023.

In this new corporate officer role, Nelson will continue leading Chevron’s Strategy & Sustainability, Corporate Affairs, and Business Development functions, and take on additional corporate responsibilities.

“Throughout his career, and as a senior leader, Mark has made significant contributions to the company’s success,” said Michael K. Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and chief executive officer. “He has worked in every segment of our business, and his results-driven approach positions him well to help execute our strategy and represent Chevron more broadly.”

Nelson previously served as executive vice president of Downstream & Chemicals, vice president, Midstream, Strategy & Policy, and vice president of Corporate Strategic Planning.


Sagir Jajere is New MD, in Charge of Addax Operations

Sagir (Sajiru) Jajere, General Manager, PSC at the NNPC Ltd’s headquarters, has been seconded to Addax Petroleum, as the state hydrocarbon firm takes ownership of Addax’s Nigerian operations.

With Jajere at the head of the new management as Managing Director are Emmanuel Agwu and Ida Ekerelu, also seconded from NNPC. Ekerelu will act in CFO capacity, while Agwu will be Chief Operating Officer in the transition.

The threesome is effectively “the transition management team to manage oil production and develop the gas potentials of the acreages”.

NNPC’s take-over of Addax comes on the heels of a close-out and signing ceremony of an asset transfer, settlement and exit agreement (TSEA) with Addax, after a drawn-out dispute on Addax operated Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 123/124, 126/137, that crystalized with a hurried, unilateral transfer of those assets by the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources, to two Nigerian owned companies in 2020.

“The protracted dispute has finally been laid to rest, paving the path for much-needed investment and growth on the oil blocks,” NNPC declared in a statement.

The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the blocks was initially signed in 1973 between the NNPC and Ashland but was terminated after 25 years. Subsequently, the NNPC signed another PSC with Addax in 1998 on the blocks which were operated through Addax Petroleum for another 24 years. However, the Addax PSCs were associated with significant intricacies and complexities and attendant disputes, the statement added.

“In 2021, issues around the revocation of the licences were reconsidered and   the upstream industry regulator, the NUPRC, advised that the asset be returned to the Concessionaires, NNPC Limited, to ensure clean and amicable exit for Addax…On January 25, 2022, the NNPC Limited commenced formal engagements with Addax and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Company (NUPRC), followed by series of meetings to ensure a swift closeout of the exit discussions and formalities.


Nosa Omorodion Wins the AAPG’s Outstanding Leadership Award

The Nigerian geologist Nosa Omorodion, has been announced as the winner of one of the most distinguished awards given by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists AAPG).

The award is Michel T Halbouty Outstanding Leadership (MTHOL) Award, given “in recognition of outstanding and exceptional leadership in the petroleum geosciences”.

The AAPG is the world’s leading professional society for petroleum geoscience, with over 30,000 members worldwide.

The MTHOL Award is named for Michel T Halbouty, an American geologist, petroleum engineer, and wildcatter who was credited with discovering more than 50 oil and gas fields.  In a long, storied, life (he died in 2004 at the age of 95), Halbouty twice declared bankruptcy, but came back each time to regain wealth. He authored hundreds of technical articles on petroleum geology, and two book-length histories of famous oil fields. Halbouty is often described, including in his New York Times obituary, as “legendary.”

The award is one of the top two of the 12 awards announced for 23 geoscientists from across the world for 2023.

The honorees, approved by the AAPG Executive Committee, “were selected based on service to the profession, the science, the Association and the public”, the AAPG says on is website.

Most on this year’s award list are American; but there are also Canadians, Italians and Nigerians.

Apart from Mr. Omorodion, who is an Executive Director at the Nigerian operations of Schlumberger (the giant, global oilfield services company), there are three Nigerians on the list, including Akinwande Oluseye Ekun, who is an earth scientist in Chevron’s Houston offices and Mimionitu Opuwari, a professor of geosciences at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. Ekun and Opuwari are honoured for “Distinguished Service” to the profession, the science, the Association and the public.

Philip Ajaebili, a reservoir geophysicist at Shell Nigeria, is honoured with a “Young Professionals Exemplary Service Award”.

Mr. Omorodion, who counts, in his profile, 34 years of post-graduation experience in the oil and gas industry, is one of those individuals you could describe as keen enthusiasts of professional associations.

He is a former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and has been bullish on AAPG, the world’s largest grouping of earth scientists. He has been on the Distinguished Lecture Committee (International); , he has been Secretary/Treasurer AAPG Africa Region; Membership Coordination and Communication, AAPG Africa Region; President, AAPG Africa Region; General Co-Chair, AAPG-NAPE Deepwater West Africa Conference; General Co-Chair, AAPG Africa/Europe Joint Conference, Marrakesh, Morocco; on the Technical Committee, AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Istanbul, Turkey.

The full list of the AAPG 2023 honorees is as follows:


    • Kitty Milliken, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas
    • Nosa Omorodion, Schlumberger, Houston, Texas (Africa Region)
    • Robert D. Hatcher Jr., University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
    • Cynthia Huggins, Aera , Bakersfield, Calif.
    • Linda Price, ExxonMobil, Houston
    • Thomas E. Ewing, Frontera Exploration Consultants, San Antonio, Texas
    • Amy Fox, Enlighten Geoscience Ltd., Calgary, Canada
    • Rebecca Caldwell, Chevron, Houston
    • Joseph R. Davis, BKV Corp., Dallas, Texas
    • Raffaele Di Cuia, Delta Energy Ltd., Ferrara, Italy
    • Akinwande Oluseye Ekun, Chevron, Houston
    • Mimionitu Opuwari, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Douglas N. Valleau, Strategia Innovation and Technology Advisors, Spring, Texas
    • Virginia Sisson, Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association, Houston
    • Robert Trentham, University of Texas-Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas
    • Kirsten Siebach, Rice University, Houston
    • Neal and Inda Immega, HMNS, Houston
    • William A. Ambrose, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas
    • Dan J. Hartmann, DJH Energy Consulting, Fredericksburg, Texas
    • Philip Ajaebili, Shell, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
    • Andrea Lopez Vega, Total Energies, Luanda, Angola
    • William P. Bosworth, Apache, Cairo, Egypt


South Africa’s Electricity Chief Has Resigned

By Sully Manope, in Windhoek

André de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, the South African electricity monopoly, has quit.

The former President of Sasol’s China Ventures had been at one of the country’s most important jobs for three years, having taken charge in January 2020.

The power utility said in a statement that De Ruyter had tendered his resignation on Wednesday, December 14. While he was obligated to only serve a 30-day notice, De Ruyter had reportedly agreed to stay in his position until March 31, 2023. “Mr De Ruyter has agreed to stay for an additional period beyond the stipulated 30-days’ notice to ensure continuity while we urgently embark on a search for his successor. His last day at Eskom will be March 31 2023,” said Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana.

The utility says it has no plan for the chairman to become an interim CEO and that a comprehensive executive search will be conducted to find a suitably qualified candidate.

Mr De Ruyter has often said that he took the job as an act of national service in January 2020 and as a critical plank of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reform agenda. But he has presided over the most challenging period for power outages in the country. “2022 has been the worst year on record for power cuts in South Africa”.

The outgoing Eskom boss has a wide pool of supporters, who point to his forward-looking energy transition plans. “South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan  (JET-IP), was lauded at COP27 in Egypt as best-in-class energy transition thinking”, writes Ferial Haffajee, associate editor of the Daily Maverick. The $8.5Billion JET-IP is designed to accelerate the move away from coal in a way that protects vulnerable workers and communities, and develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles.


Nafi Chinery Appointed Interim Africa Director, Natural Resource Governance Institute

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has appointed the Ghanaian development specialist, Nafi Chinery, as interim Africa director. In this role, she will oversee the activities of NRGI’s Africa team and provide strategic leadership for NRGI’s work in the region and globally.

Ms. Chinery will combine the work with her current role as West Africa regional manager(Anglophone) at the Institute, where she supervises the design, implementation and coordination of NRGI’s strategic engagements and programmes in Anglophone West Africa.

The phrase: “Interim” suggests that NRGI is still scouting for the permanent occupier of the office, a search that has been ongoing since 2016. The Africa director, in NRGI’s description, is one “who can build relationships with a diverse range of critical partners and harness the strengths of the organization to advance accountable and effective governance in Africa”. The institute says that the role is a unique opportunity “to cohesively improve natural resource governance across Africa.

“Reporting to NRGI’s Chief Operating Officer and as the senior-most representative in the region, the position will define strategic engagements and target agents of change”. Central to the role will be to oversee the successful execution of NRGI’s country strategies, ensuring that lessons learned from the organisation’s engagement and the changing political economy inform its work. “The person will also design and implement a regional strategy, that capitalizes on our engagements in priority countries and seizes new opportunities for reform as they emerge”.

Nafi Chinery has over 20 years of experience in development work. Prior to joining NRGI, she worked with Oxfam GB and the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), a pan-African grant-making foundation for women’s rights. She has a longstanding career in organizational development and transformative and strategic leadership. For 17 years, Nafi has worked to develop and strengthen credible well informed women’s rights organizations and leaders to accelerate the respect for women and rights of marginalized groups across Africa.

She holds a master’s degree in social development and sustainable livelihoods from the University of Reading, U.K., and a bachelor of arts and diploma in education from Cape Coast University, Cape Coast, Ghana. She was also a 2014 Aspen New Voices Fellow.


Catherine Hughes Joins the Board of Directors at Valaris

Catherine J. Hughes, former Executive Vice President at Nexen Inc., has been appointed to the Board of Directors at Valaris, the NYSE listed drilling company.

Ms. Hughes will also serve on the Board’s Environmental, Social and Governance Committee.

Catherine Hughes has served as a non-executive director of Shell plc since 2017, including as Chair of the Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee. She was Executive Vice President International at Nexen Inc. from January 2012 until her retirement in April 2013, where she was responsible for all oil and gas activities including exploration, production, development and project activities outside Canada.

Ms. Hughes joined Nexen in 2009 as Vice President Operational Services, Technology and Human Resources. Prior to joining Nexen, she was Vice President Oil Sands at Husky Oil from 2007 to 2009 and Vice President Exploration & Production Services, from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Hughes started her career with Schlumberger in 1986 and held key positions in various countries, including France, Italy, Nigeria, the UK and the USA, and was President of Schlumberger Canada Ltd for five years.

Ms. Hughes has previously held non-executive director positions at SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, Statoil ASA and Precision Drilling Inc.


Waltersmith: A Second, Bigger Refinery and a Power Plant, on Course for Completion by 2026

In our continuing C-SUITE series, CHIKEZIE NWOSU, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Waltersmith Petroman spoke with Africa Oil+Gas Report’s Akpelu Paul Kelechi on a range of issues.

Waltersmith is an influential player in the African Exploration & Production sector. It has just concluded a three well campaign on the Ibigwe field; it is working to move drilling equipment to develop the Assa Field, discretionally awarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian head of state. It has, in its sights, a 25,000Barrels of Condensate Refinery for which its has won access to feedstock. It is finalising a Financial  and Technical Service Agreement on Egbema-Egbema West and Ogada Fields in OML 20. Mr. Nwosu certainly has a lot on his plate. EXCERPTS from the conversation.

Congratulations on two years of running a modular refinery, in addition to your 13 years of producing crude. Give us an overview of the company’s notable achievements since the launch of the refinery.

You very well know that this started by the end of 2020. It has been operating with no single downtime. We currently can peak at something like 4,500 barrels of processing capacity. We are evacuating all our products; we have an over subscription of all products and one of the most challenging products we had earlier which is heavy fuel oil (HFO), we have found a market for it as well. The refinery is doing extremely well and we are successfully executing the strategy we had in mind when we first put the idea together.

When you say the strategy behind the refinery, what do you mean?

Firstly, we wanted to ensure security for our (upstream) production on the Ibigwe field because we were seeing constantly increasing theft percentages on the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP). We felt that this might get out of hand at a certain period and this was as far back as 2015-2016, when the discussion started. Our production is roughly about 5,000 barrels of oil per day give or take and that is why the refinery was so sized. Now you see what has happened on the TNP?

Second one was to add to the growth of the Nigerian economy through both the creation of additional jobs and impact on our GDP that consumption of our own energy would bring. If you export crude oil or gas, you earn some foreign exchange and the impact on your GDP is very limited. Upstream companies don’t provide that many employment opportunities but with refining, you have both skilled and unskilled workforce and you can more than quadruple the value that you are generating as an impact on your GDP through just consuming the energy instead of exporting it. So that was another underlining strategy.

The third one was about getting access to more assets around 30 kilometres radius of the Ibigwe field. We believe that by positioning ourselves and being supportive of domestic refining, we would be in a more advantageous position when we discuss with government about some of these assets and that has also turned out positively because we have both a technical and financial sales agreement that was approved by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the state hydrocarbon company NNPC to take over the operations of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 20 assets. That’s the Ebema-Egbema West and Ogada. We are still waiting for some peace to reign in that area before we progress. And the second asset is the Assa marginal field which was awarded to us. It was a presidential discretionary award in April of 2021 if my memory serves me right.

“Heavy fuel oil for example, is an International exported product, and some factories in Nigeria actually need this product as well. And we’re able to get some benefits from them in terms of foreign exchange earnings.”

…And about over subscription of your refinery products?

The subscription to take our products is five times as high as the entire output. We have to pick and choose who will come and take it. We give some preference to the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association in Imo State and NUPENG, Imo State and then of course the rest of it is more competitive.

OML 20 assets, Egbema West and Ogada are supposed to be part of what Shell is putting out for sale in its ongoing divestment from 19 OMLs in the onshore and shallow water terrain in the Niger Delta. Does this mean that you would ring fence it?

It’s a financial and technical service agreement, not a purchase of the lease. Whoever purchases it, we will continue the conversations with them.

These two assets now, do they now guarantee that 20,000 barrel per day refinery expansion?

Yes they do; so you are absolutely right that the strategy was within that 30 kilometre radius. To find the assets where we could expand our refining capacity by crude oil by an additional 20,000BPD and condensates by 25,000BPD. So we build a 25,000BPD condensate refinery that was targeted at the Assa North- Ohaji gas plays. Now, based on the development plan that we put in place as part of the FTSA at Egbema-Egbema West and Ugada should peak in production above 23,000 barrels of oil per day.

So that is the expectation from the development plan we’ve put in place. Currently, I think it’s not producing that much and the last figures we had was about 7,000 barrels of oil per day. But up times were about 41% which meant that on the average we weren’t even getting that amount of production every year. Now we expect to be able to increase up times to the kind of levels we are used to operating at, which is 95% and above. And also to drill new development wells and optimize some of the production in the existing assets.

And in addition to that, we have a gas-to-power license, which is a 300-megawatt license and we needed to have a source of gas for it. And we believe that the OML 20 can deliver about 60Million standard cubic feet per day of gas; that is actually the domestic gas supply obligation for that particular asset and we’ve seen that the potential is there to do 60MMscf/d, in addition to getting some of our gas from the Assa North -Ohaji South gas developments owned by Seplat, NGC and SPDC.

It’s not as if 60MMscf/d, which you might not get to anyway, can deliver 300MW on its own?

No, it won’t deliver on its own 300MW. We need more gas to deliver that but at least that’s a start because we’re doing the gas projects in phases and part of it is, you also know that part of our strategy has a domestic strategy as well and it is to diversify from just producing oil and gas through consuming oil and gas through industrialization. We are working on it and the feasibility study is ready for the 500 hectare UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) supported industrial and Innovation Park, where we expect to attract manufacturing and deliver them gas to power at very reasonable rates because power is one of the major issues with manufacturing.

We intend to attract pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, which we will probably build ourselves, that’s the petrochemical part, and other industries, medical and agricultural or whatever it is, who need to situate or collocate within the industrial park. And to which we can deliver certain utilities, power being one of them, a good road network, to also export products as well as all the other services. Residential Services, schools, medical services and all that in the industrial park.

What is the time frame for this project?

We expect the industrial park…; so we did the original signing with UNIDO during the commissioning of the refinery. We have since progressed to have negotiations with the landowners about the purchase and we’ll probably do a groundbreaking sometime in 2023. Given the pace at which Waltersmith delivers projects, I would expect that it’s within our previous five-year look ahead so that by 2026, we should be significantly done with the industrial park to get to a point of commissioning and bringing in, you know, all the industry that needs to be there. It is also possible that as we build out the industrial park as we do in a modular fashion, we’re bringing in certain industry earlier on and some other ones much later.

The petrochemicals plant, which will be a little bit of a technical complex, will that come in that 2023 to 2026 window that you mentioned?

That’s our expectation; we are, you know, carrying out a few early feasibility studies on that at this time.

How do you actually balance the need for Forex earnings if you put everything in the refinery?

Strangely enough, without being specific, certain products for the refinery that are not used predominantly in the domestic market go to export.  The typical ones we need here, like PMS, AGO, Aviation jet fuel, and DPK, those ones are domestic. They are priced in naira, sold in naira. Heavy fuel oil for example, is an International exported product, and some factories in Nigeria actually need this product as well. And we’re able to get some benefits from them in terms of foreign exchange earnings. And the other thing I need to mention is that you’re right, we don’t intend to take every single part of our production through the refinery; there will still be production available for exports to earn some dollar but it’s not because we want to particularly earn dollars per se, but a lot of our operations, a lot of the equipment we maintain and everything, we have to pay for it in dollars. We must have a means of earning dollars as well, but please note that our focus is on impacting the domestic economy. That’s what it is and we believe that it has so many attendant effects, positives, with respect to even shoring up our currency. Remember that for as long as we manufacture and consume internally any products that we need to import, that will strengthen the naira. In our small way, we’re trying to do that and as you can imagine, if we stop importing petroleum products, then the pressure of having to have dollars to pay for them will go away.  This issue of subsidies will go away. Yeah, and therefore we believe that those kind of things will strengthen the Nigerian currency. It’s a demand-supply thing. If we have more dollars in the system that we are generating versus the demand to buy dollars for something to go outside. Then we will get the same thing with manufacturing; for if we manufacture things here, we get the raw materials from here, it has an attended impact. Waltersmith wants to show how that model works and hope that other people will take it on as well. So it’s both diversification of the economy, domestic consumption for GDP growth and strengthening our currency.

You mentioned Aviation fuel but it is not yet part of your products in the refinerry.

Yeah it is not part of this yet but it is what we’re going to go to in the next phase of our refinery. We don’t even do PMS now. We do naphtha because of the regulation of PMS. But of course, naphtha is the base substance for PMS. And so in expansion, we’re going to do PMS and so we’re going to have a catalytic reformer. And we’re also going to do aviation jet fuel. And then for the condensate refinery we are going to add on top of that, LPG.

This second phase will also come in that 2023 to 2026 period?

Absolutely; even earlier because for the expansion phase, we are doing the FEED this year and if you know how we turn around things, I would say 24 months from when we complete the FEED after we do the detailed engineering design; maybe for about six months and then after that, we can add 18 months. The current Refinery would have been commissioned within 18 months apart from COVID because it was started from scratch. We started in October 2018 and we were ready to commission by I think, maybe about April-May of 2020 then COVID hit us. And we had to delay it but it was actually completed by October of 2020. We’re now in a position where we’re about to conclude certain agreements between ourselves and other parties so that we can get condensate from the plants to do the refinery. Once those are concluded, we will start building the refinery.

So you would get condensate from the ANOH project?

That’s correct.

Wow, and this is very important. From what you are saying here, NNPC has yielded ….

Chike Nwosu: I am hoping that you would take this off record.

But we’re back on track. The difference between us and any other companies is that we are tenacious; so even when it looked as if it wasn’t happening, we completed our FEED, did EPC Contracting, everything that was needed and then kept it aside and said let’s watch.

Wasn’t that risky?

There’s something called Front End Loading. In front end loading you spend the least amount of money but you generate the most amount of value. Now supposing we hadn’t done the FEED we wouldn’t have known what it was going to cost to build a refinery and there will not have been any basis to compare between us and any other entity. But once our cost was clear and that we had done FEED with a contractor who had built a Refinery, it became clear that we’re the best people to give this Refinery to build. If we hadn’t done any work and that’s to answer the question about some of these other modular refineries, so a lot of them are depending on feed stock not from operated assets or anything like that. That’s going to be a challenge. It is a challenge for them. Yeah, and that’s the front end loading part. We make sure that we dot our I’s and cross our T’s before we jump into any particular project.

“Based on the development plan that we put in place as part of the FTSA at Egbema-Egbema West and Ugada should peak in production above 23,000 barrels of oil per day”.

Would you say this downstream business is as profitable as or more profitable than your upstream business?

Without releasing any numbers, we’re happy with our refinery.

Seplat gives you 2,000 to 3,000?

2,000 and that’s guaranteed but we take more than 2,000 from time to time from them.

You actually have spare for exports.

We do have spare for export but the TNP has been down for a long time.

Oh, that’s yes, that’s true.

 To be concluded.



Simon-Hart Joins NDEP’s Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director 

Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc (NDEP) has appointed Patricia Simon-Hart to its Board as an Independent Director.

She is only the second female to be appointed member of the company’s board of directors in a period spanning over 20 years. Zuwairatu Mantu, the first woman appointed to NDEP board, joined in 2010 and left in 2014.

NDEP says that Simon-Hart’s appointment, effective from the 4th of November 2022, “is in continuation” of its ongoing, “forward-looking preparations for the new challenges of growth and transformation as the emerging leading African energy Company”.

At board meetings, Simon -Hart, will join Titi Omisore, the company’s Group Legal Adviser and Company Secretary who has, for most of the years, been the only female presence among nine men.

The founder and Managing Director of Aftrac Limited, an ISO 9001:2015 certified oil and gas service company in operation for over 25 years, Simon -Hart is involved in several bespoke activities in the Nigerian oil industry. She is on the Executive Board of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), a Council member for WEConnect International, and a member of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board’s (NCDMB’s) Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF), Sectoral Working Group (SWG) for Diversity.

She “brings over 30 years of experience in Management, Public Policy and Administration to the NDEP Board and has a varied career spanning oil and gas, ICT, water and also public service”, NDEP reports in its statement.  “Ms. Simon Hart has a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard, Kennedy School of Government, a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics/Computer Science & Statistics, from the University of Port Harcourt, and is an alumnus of London Business School.

“Ms. Simon-Hart is also a co-founder and the Vice President (Upstream) of Women in Energy Network (WEIN), an organisation established in 2020 to provide a platform for Women that work across the energy industry value chain to network, build confidence and progress their careers and businesses.

“She has served the Government of Rivers State through her appointment as Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development between 2009-2015.  She was later engaged as a Consultant of Industrial Economics, Incorporated (USA), appointed to the World Bank/United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)/ African Union Commission (AUC). While in this role, she worked on the Project and Conceptual Framework for the development of the African Climate Resilient Investment Facility, including the development of guidelines, provision of training, delivery of on-demand advisory services, and rendering assistance to AU member countries to attract Climate Finance”.


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