The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) requires a National advisor for Investment and Technology promotion, located at the offices of the delegation of German industry and commerce in Nigeria.
S/He will be a part of The UNIDO ITP Network which primarily assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their industrialization efforts through promotion of foreign investment and transfer of technology. ITPOs promote inward and outward flow of investment and technology and offer value-added services throughout the entire investment promotion cycle from the identification of partners to ensuring the viability of projects. They complement UNIDO’s capacity-building activities by mobilizing financial and technological resources to scale up development impact.
Specifically, the successful candidate will be the focal point of addressing challenges of promoting investment and technology transfer from Germany due to issues such as language barriers, geographical distance and technological gaps.
S/He provides support and advisory services to German enterprises and to the business community in Nigeria and its neighbouring developing countries to facilitate their investment promotional efforts, technology absorption and opportunities for international industrial cooperation
S/He’s part of the UNIDO led project, contributing to the inclusive and sustainable industrial development of developing countries/countries with economies in transition through the mobilization of knowhow, expertise, technology and capital from Germany for the implementation of industrial investment and technology partnerships for the benefit of these countries.
George Maxwell, the former Chief Executive Officer at Eland Oil &Gas, has kept a place in the media headlines since he led the sale of the company to Seplat Petroleum.
He has just been appointed Chief Executive Officer of VAALCO Energy, a smaller crude oil producer, but one with a prominent public image.
Three months ago, Mr. Maxwell was right in the middle of a boardroom spat at Lekoil, in which the founder Lekan Akinyanmi, squared off against the Zimbabwe based goldminer Metallon Corporation, which holds the company’s largest share (15%). Metallon prevailed, and the shareholders accepted its nominated directors, including Maxwell, Michael Ajukwu, who became chairman and Thomas Richardson to Lekoil’s board.
In his new role at VAALCO, Maxwell is expected to deliver the company’s goal “to continue to be one of the leading independent exploration and production companies in West Africa, with a strategy of achieving significant shareholder returns by maximizing the value of, and free cash flow from, its existing resources, coupled with highly accretive inorganic growth opportunities”. For the “accretive inorganic growth opportunities”, read: the new CEO is charged with increasing the company’s portfolio beyond the Etame asset in Gabon, VAALCO’s only producing property, which produced 4,662 net revenue interest (“NRI”) barrels of crude oil per day (BOPD), or 5,359 working interest (WI)(BOPD in Q4 2020 and reported year end 2020 independent Competent Person’s Report (CPR) of 10.4MMBO.
Maxwell, who has been a Non-Executive Director of VAALCO since June 2020 and resides in the U.K., “will continue to serve as a member of the Board”, VAALCO says in a statement. Considering that Andrew Fawthrop, former Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, is VAALCO’s chairman of the board, there have been speculations that VAALCO, on their (Fawthorp and Maxwell’s) watch, will look closely at the possibility of acquiring mature Nigerian asset.
Melissa Bond has taken over from Andre Kostelnik, as Lead Country Manager / Managing Director for ExxonMobil Angola.
“I’ve supported Angola twice previously in my career and could not be more excited to get to lead this amazing team”, Ms. Bond says, adding that she was “Honored and humbled” to take the appointment.
The Civil Engineering graduate of the University of Waterloo was promoted to the new job from the position of Development Manager of the Delaware Basin at XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, in March 2021. She is the first female to hold the position.
Bond holds extensive technical and supervisory experience in strategic planning, drilling and development planning in both mature and emerging markets, including the U.S., Canada and Papua New Guinea.
Her career highlights include roles as Subsurface Engineering Manager at Imperial Oil between August 2014 and March 2016 and Operations Technical Manager in Papua New Guinea.
ExxonMobil has been active in Angola since 1994 and holds interests in three deep-water blocks spanning nearly Two Million acres, including a 18% stake in the prolific Block 17 that accounts for the majority of the country’s output.
Fifteen years after a commercial sized discovery was made, the partners of the Lake Albert development project, the Ugandan basin wide crude oil development, have concluded the final agreements required to launch this major project.
The discovery of oil, via the drilling of Mputa 1 onshore Uganda, was made in 2006, a year before the well that led to Ghana’s first oil in 2010 was drilled. But the tyranny of geology (landlocked, waxy crude, over a thousand kilometres from the coast), and one of the industry’s most arduous regulatory processes (the Ugandan bureaucracy), stalled the development.
But it’s done now. At the State House in Entebbe, Uganda this week, Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TOTAL, as well as representatives of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC, were all present at the signing of the Shareholders Agreement of East African Crude Oil Pipeline EACOP and the Tariff and Transportation Agreement between EACOP and the Lake Albert oil shippers.
The Lake Albert development encompasses Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania. The Tilenga project, operated by TOTAL, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to deliver a combined production of 230,000 barrels per day at plateau. The upstream partners are TOTAL (56.67%), CNOOC (28.33%) and UNOC (15%). The production will be transported from the oilfields in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania via EACOP cross-border pipeline, with TOTAL, UNOC, TPDC and CNOOC as shareholders.
These agreements open the way for the commencement of the Lake Albert development project. The main engineering, procurement and construction contracts will be awarded shortly, and construction will start.
First oil export is planned in early 2025.
All the partners are committed to implement these projects in an exemplary manner and taking into highest consideration the biodiversity and environmental stakes as well as the local communities’ rights and within the stringent environmental and social performance standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
“The Tilenga development and EACOP pipeline project are major projects for TOTAL and are consistent with our strategy to focus on low breakeven oil projects while lowering the average carbon intensity of the Group’s upstream portfolio. These projects will create significant in-country value for both Uganda and Tanzania” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TOTAL. “TOTAL is also taking into the highest consideration the sensitive environmental context and social stakes of these onshore projects. Our commitment is to implement these projects in an exemplary and fully transparent manner”.
Kosmos Energy has promoted Tim Nicholson to Senior Vice President (SVP) and Head of Exploration, and John Shinol has been promoted to SVP and Chief Geoscientist.
Nicholson and Shinol joined Kosmos in 2018 and have been integral to the company’s infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) efforts over that period, primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Equatorial Guinea. The two earth scientists were both formerly at Cobalt International Energy where they were responsible for several large discoveries in West Africa (Angola) and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (North Platte, Anchor, and Heidelberg).
Tracey Henderson, the previous SVP of Exploration, has left Kosmos to pursue other interests.
Andrew G. Inglis, Kosmos Energy’s chairman and chief executive officer said: “As we see momentum return to our ILX activities in 2021, I am delighted to have two highly experienced, oil finders leading our exploration efforts. Tim and John have a long track record of proven-basin exploration success in our focus geographies of West Africa and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We have a deep hopper of high-quality ILX opportunities, a strong bench strength of exploration talent and have already seen early success in 2021. I would like to thank Tracey for her time at Kosmos, particularly her contribution to the company’s frontier basin success in the past.”
Nick Wayth, formerly Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy at BP, will take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Institute (EI), beginning May 4, 2021EI is a British headquartered global chartered professional membership body, which says it “articulates the voice of energy experts, taking the know-how of around 20,000 members and 200 companies from 120 countries to the heart of the public debate”.Wayth takes over from Louise Kingham, who has headed the EI and its precursor bodies for more than twenty years.
Ms. Kingham is stepping down this month to become UK Head of Country and Senior Vice President for Europe at BP.Wayth, who holds a PhD in Mechanical / Electrical Engineering and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from the University of Southampton, has spent nearly 22 years at BP plc in a broad variety of executive and management roles. Most recently he held the post of Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy, where he led BP’s strategy and business development in a broad range of renewable technologies, including solar, offshore wind and digital energy. Through this role he was also a member of the BP Ventures Investment Committee, sponsoring several of BP’s venture investments.
ENI’s new discovery of oil in Cuica-1 in Angola’s CabaçaDevelopment Area in Block 15/06 takes the Italian player on course of topping up its 100,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) net in the country.
The well-head location, intentionally placed close to the Armada Olombendo FPSO East Hub’s subsea network, will allow a fast-track tie-in of the exploration well and relevant production, thus immediately creating value while extending the FPSO production plateau. It is expected that production will start within six months after discovery.
Cuica-1 encountered 80 metres total column of reservoir of light oil (38°API) in Miocene sandstones located in in a water depth of 500 metres, ENI says that this discovery translates to a size estimated between 200 and 250Million barrels of oil in place.
The company net 100,000BOPD (crude oil alone) in total export volume from Blocks O, 3/05. 3/05A, 14, 15 and 15/06 in February 2021, according to the Angolan regulatory agency, ANPG
The New Field Well (NFW) has been drilled as a deviated well by the Libongos drillship and reached a total vertical depth of 4100 metres, good petrophysical properties. The discovery well is going to be sidetracked updip to be placed in an optimal position as a producer well. “The result of the intensive data collection indicates an expected production capacity of around 10,000 barrels of oil per day”, ENI says in a statement.
“Cuica is the second significant oil discovery inside the existing Cabaça Development Area and confirms the Block 15/06 Joint Venture’s commitment to leverage the favorable legal framework on additional exploration activities within existing Development Areas, as promoted through the Presidential Legislative Decree No. 5/18 of 18 May 2018”, the company said.
“Pursuant to the discoveries of Kalimba, Afoxé, Ndungu, Agidigbo, Agogo and appraisals achieved between 2018 and 2020, Cuica represents the first commercial discovery in Block 15/06 after the re-launch of the exploration campaign post-2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the drop of oil price”. A three-year extension of the exploration period of Block 15/06 has been recently granted until November 2023.
The astronomically high drilling costs of wells in Nigeria are key to the challenges faced by operators in reining in operating and capital expenses, an industry service provider has suggested.
If Africa’s highest crude oil producer is to reach its target of delivering Four Million Barrels of Oil Per day (4MMBOPD) in the near term, those costs need to be brought down, argues Hope Okwa, Founder/ Managing Director of Hd Okwa Drilling Services.
“A 10,000 feet well producing only 3,000 BOPD costs up to $25Million to construct in Nigeria”, Okwa allows. “To move from the current 1.5MMBOPD to 4MMBOPD requires massive well construction activities, in the order of over 800 wells per year. The associated investment is $21Billion per annum. Where will this investment come from, especially in an era where top global financiers are moving their investment to renewables?”.
Okwa is persuasive that he is not just throwing numbers around: “$25Million per well cost is true for land, swamp and shallow offshore, as the rigs all use surface blowout preventers.
“The only way is to rethink well construction efficiency, with a view to drastically reducing well costs from current levels”, he contends. “The sources of inefficiencies in well construction, is very much within our expertise”, Okwa declares: “it is very urgent to implement these solutions”, as “in nine (9) years’ time in 2030, the advanced countries will pivot away from fossil fuel. What will then happen to Nigeria’s reserves of 37Billion BO?”
Okwa’s benchmark is North America. “In Canada/USA, the rig rate for land is $32,000/day compared with $25,000/day for Nigeria. A 10,000 feet land well takes eight (8) days to drill while it takes 83 days in Nigeria. The Canada/USA cost is less than $2Million, while Nigeria is $25Million. The Canadians and Americans achieve the success by efficient well design (without gold plating as we do in Nigeria, efficient supply chain management, avoiding NPT and applying the science of drilling optimisation. We are experts in these areas. I should add that we are currently preparing to execute a $5Million horizontal well for a Nigerian marginal operator, applying our techniques”..
Cost control in oilfield activities has been a front burner issue in Nigeria. Last February, the state hydrocarbon company NNPC had an elaborate event on cost optimization, at which Timipre Silva, Minister of State for petroleum, asked the country’s 34 oil and gas producing companies to join in working towards reducing operations cost to achieve the $10 or less per barrel production cost target.
Stakeholders have responded to Ministry of Petroleum’s call for cost control by naming causes including insecurity (You need gunboats full of naval officers on the way to rig-site) and taxation (government at all levels level multiple taxes: DPR hikes costs of obligatory services, State Governments demand various tariffs, Local Governments harass operators; communities hold up work; regulators sometimes delay).
Okwa counters that “those issues relate to production mainly, and companies are having to trade off drilling wells due to the issues mentioned and high well cost”.
Okwa has 29 years industry experience, the first 14 of which he spent in AngloDutch Shell, mostly on well engineering and drilling supervision. He had a stint at BG (the defunct British Gas) as a senior well engineer in the company’s Nigerian deepwater operations. He had a five year stretch as senior drilling and workover well engineer on critical gas operations at Saudi Aramco, after which he had another stint at BP Angola as senior drilling engineer.
“We believe that if we reduce well costs drastically.. we will be able to stimulate activities”, he says. “If we reduce well cost from $25Million to just $5Million hypothetically speaking, requiring only 20% of the previous investment demands, even local banks may be able to fund field development campaigns.
Elohor Aiboni has taken over from Bayo Ojulari as Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).
She is the first woman to take the job, which has become increasingly important as AngloDutch Shell increases its focus on deep-water, hub-scale opportunities.
Mrs. Aiboni’s chief immediate task is to find a way to achieve Final Investment Decision (FID) for the pending Bonga SouthWest Aparo (BSWA) project, a job that Ojulari laboured over in the last three years. If she is lucky, she might even witness, on her watch, the 150,000BOPD (peak production) project from construction to first oil.
A 1999 bachelor of science degree holder in Chemical Engineering from the University of Benin, and Masters’ degree in Integrated Environmental Management from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, Aiboni has moved through the ranks, serving as operations support engineer in Shell’s Eastern Nigeria Division and team leader on the relatively large Obigbo oil field (around 160Million barrels reserves as of 2008), straddling two Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 11 &17.
Her first look-in into Upper Management philosophy was as Business Analyst to the Executive Vice President Shell E&P Africa. She then moved on cross posting to Kazakhstan, where she was part of the Kashagan project, returning to assist in overseeing the divestment of Shell’s onshore eastern assets(OMLs 18, 24 & 29) in 2014/2015.
Aiboni’s first work on a Nigerian offshore asset was as operations manager of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility on the shallow water EA field, which is a SNEPCO asset, in 2015. She moved into deeper waters three years ago, when she was appointed Asset Manager for the Bonga project, Nigeria’s flagship deepwater field.
That appointment can now be interpreted as the training opportunity for Elohor Aiboni to take the reins of SNEPCO.
Nigeria has fallen far behind the main internationally set target for energy access, to which it had itself been an active participant, a review has shown.
The country’s current quantum of electricity delivery and its near-term prospect of Universal Electrification, do not come anywhere close to the 2030 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set up by the United Nations, our review indicates.
17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were formulated bythe United Nations (UN) in 2015 to address the environmental, economic, political and social challenges facing the world.
Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) is a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”Specifically, Sustainable Development Goal 7.1 calls for “universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy service.”
In the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Action Agenda, Nigeria’s implementation tool for the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), the country has a goal to reduce share of the population living without electricity to about 10% and increase electricity generation to at least 32,000MW by 2030.
Let us consider the current figures.
Eighty Five Million people lack access to grid connection electricity in Nigeria, leaving 43% of the population without electricity access. The country, in effect, has the largest energy access deficit in the world. Nigeria’s 206Million people share an installed capacity of 12,555MW, but only about 4,000MW is distributed to Nigerians on most days by the seven generation companies (GenCos). On the other hand, South Africa and Egypt, whose economies are second and third largest to Nigeria’s, in Africa’s GDP ranking and with population of 59Million and 85Million respectively, have installed capacity of 58,095 MW. This is way higher than Nigeria’s installed capacity despite Nigeria’s larger population.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in its 2020 second quarter report, Nigeria recorded 5, 316MW as the peak daily generation on the 20th of April, 2020. If on the 20th of April 2020, 5,316 MW was distributed to energy consumers, and 85million people do not have access to electricity, the remaining 121 million Nigerians got an average 44watts of electricity supply.
This explains the constant power outages in the nation. Whole communities frequently bear the brunt of the nation’s power supply incapacities. In 2015, 444 communities spanning 18 local government areas reportedly lacked electricity in Edo State. Similarly, it was reported that residents of a particular Local Government Area in Ekiti State experienced total blackout for three years.
Because Nigerians are not always entitled to 24-hour power supply, many businesses, homes and offices have had to fall back on petrol and diesel back-up generators.
Nigeria ranks as one of the six top countries generating energy with back-up generators fuelled by high quantities of fossil fuel, according to theInternational Finance Corporation, World Bank Group in a report titled, The Dirty Footprint of the Broken Grid. Apart from the environmental degradation that ensues from the use of back-up generators, it poses outrageous health hazards to anyone who inhales its fumes, as its emission contains carbon monoxide. A handful of Nigerians have lost their lives to fossil-fuels powered generator fumes which could be averted if there is continual 24-hour power supply in the nation.
Early in the year, two undergraduates reportedly lost their lives after inhaling generator fumes.
Renewable Energy, the Future of Improved Energy Access
Renewable energy is top on the United Nation’s radar to provide widespread energy access to unreached communities, and it has proven to be a long-lasting solution to the electricity access problem in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa at large, as only 47.7% have access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Nigerian government insists that it is making efforts to provide electricity to provide direct support for rural electrification. As part of its Post-Covid National Economic Sustainability Plan, it proposed a Solar Home System (SHS) in 5Million homes which will serve about 25Million Nigerians in rural areas without access to the National Grid. This is a commendable approach to rural electrification.
Segun Adaju, President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) and CEO, Consistent Energy Limited, speaks glowingly of the government’s efforts to deploy renewable energy in the nation’s power delivery said,
“Government has been part of the growth we have seen in renewable energy in the last three to five years through the rural electrification agency. There is now a 10 megawatts wind farm in the Kastina State. Also, Bayero University runs on solar now. Also, several hospitals are on solar, powered by the government.”
Renewable Energy to the Rescue
The generation capacity of renewable energy for power generation in Nigeria is relatively low, compared, again with South Africa and Egypt, the two economies with comparable GDP size to Nigeria.
These two countries each generates over 3,000MW of grid connected solar and wind power, whereas Nigeria generates less than 50MW from solar and wind technologies.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), “Nigeria’s generation capacity was 12,664 megawatts (MW) in 2017, of which 10,522 MW (83%) was from fossil fuels; 2,110 MW (17%) was from hydroelectricity; and 32 MW (1%) was from solar, wind, and biomass and waste.”
Since renewable energy will not dry up one day like fossil fuels, Nigeria should increase focus on developing the renewable energy sector for improved power generation. The increased contribution of renewable energy to the energy mix will allow for greater power generation.
China is a perfect illustration of a country that has harnessed its renewable energy potentials for electricity generation. China has the world’s largest hydropower capacity with 356GW in 2019. With this advantage, it tops as the world renewable energy generation producer.
Nigeria has water resources in the form of water falls and large rivers. With these natural potentials, hydropower serves as the most efficient renewable energy resource for power grid generation in the nation.
Nigeria’s 2015 National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy(NREEEP), aims to harness hydropower production to ensure sustainability. It aims to generate 12,801MV of power from hydropower in 2030 and generate 30% in the energy mix.
If these targets are met, Nigeria would speed up its energy access by 2030. If not, Nigerians will continue to suffer from electricity deficiencies.
Another potential viable in the nation is solar. Solar energy has proven its ability to reach every nook and cranny of the country. It is safe to say that solar is the answer to the electricity access problem in the nation. Nigeria is blessed with abundant sunlight with about 2600hours of sunshine per year. Although Nigeria is increasing its prowess in this sector, the potentials are not fully harnessed.
Mr Segun Adaju urged the government to utilise the solar resources in Nigeria to solve the electricity access problem for rural communities.
“Solar power can be harnessed because of the country’s location. Instead of building massive power plants or grids, Nigeria should redeploy straight to distributed renewable energy like we have in the movement from telephones to mobile phones,” he admonished.
This story was produced under the NAREP Media Oil and Gas 2021 Fellowship of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism.