What 2018 has in store for our sector

As we head into a new year, it feels like a good time to look ahead to the coming 12 months and to consider what 2018 might have in store for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Last year was one in which we saw a tentative recovery in the global oil price, and a stabilisation of Nigerian production that allowed us to return to play our full role as an important part of the OPEC family. So what is the outlook for the coming year? "Moving into 2018, we're building on some firm foundations in the sector," says our Chairman, Onajite Okoloko. "Our government's 2017 Appropriation Act - the so-called ‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’ - projected 2.2 million barrels per day in terms of crude oil output, and we have been far below that for a sustained period, I think that it bodes well for 2018 that this ambition is there. As a nation, we're currently abiding by OPEC's...
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The importance of technical innovation in our industry

Innovation is crucial in any industry. It's what separates the winners from the runners up - the businesses that get ahead are the ones who are able to carve out a competitive advantage over the rest, and who can use this to deliver consistent profits in an ever-changing market. Oil and gas is no different - and in the diverse landscape of the Nigerian petroleum industry technical innovation of all kinds is proving to be a critical differentiator in a competitive market. "Here at Midwestern Oil and Gas we're proud of the huge investment we make in terms of supporting innovation," says our Chairman Onajite Okoloko. "We see promoting different approaches to industry challenges as the only way we can develop both our people and our technical capabilities as a business." Innovation is key There are a number of reasons why it's clear that the oil and gas sector is an area in which innovation of all kinds is so important. The first...
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Federal government sets guidelines for new marginal oil field bids in 2018

The federal government is once again expected to make a new round of marginal oil fields available for development in 2018. It's a significant step for a number of reasons and builds on the progress made in the industry since the first awards were made in the 1990s. An historic step "Back in late 1999, our Government opened up the opportunities for oil companies to exploit the under-developed fields of our country," says our Chairman, Onajite Okoloko. "This was in response to a situation in which some international oil companies (IOCs) had abandoned or simply set aside fields for years, even after they had discovered oil in many of them. They were often under-developed simply because the larger international operators didn't see them as commercially viable - but the Government's vision opened up huge opportunities for businesses like Midwestern Oil and Gas." Midwestern Oil and Gas was just one of many indigenous upstream entrepreneurs who were able to take advantage of this new...
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Midwestern performs well in Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) was established with a number of important aims. At the time – February 2004 – our nation's government was engaged in a complex and wide-ranging reform programme - and NEITI formed an important part of this. Our nation has come a long way since then – and Midwestern Oil and Gas have played an important role in the NEITI story. Making the most of our resources The overarching intention behind NEITI was to establish a set of practices that would help our nation to efficiently manage the revenues we receive from our oil and gas resources. The approach was four-fold - focusing on improving our country's macroeconomic environment, improving and building on structural changes, managing public expenditure more closely and doing more to implement institutional and governance reforms. "The aim of NEITI was a laudable one," says our Chairman, Onajite Okoloko. “Through the adoption of this initiative the government has shown that it is ready and...
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How to build a sustainable oil and gas business

Clearly, it is not sustainable - or even desirable - for any nation to become over reliant on the revenues it receives from its huge oil and gas reserves. Any economy that becomes dependent on this single revenue stream at the expense of others - for example agriculture - is leaving itself vulnerable to the vagaries of the global price of crude oil. For a nation as rich in resources, both human and natural, as Nigeria, this is not an acceptable route for our country to go down. But equally, just because it isn’t desirable for our nation to become over dependent on oil and gas, it doesn’t mean that as a sector we shouldn’t still exploit those oil and gas resources to their fullest extent - and continue to benefit our nation’s economy. Rather, we should build sustainability into every aspect of what we do as an oil and gas company - both in terms of our business models and...
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Trends in the Nigerian oil and gas industry

Things are looking up. The last few years have been particularly tough for the world’s oil and gas industry and Nigeria’s operators, as a part of that global market, have suffered accordingly. The indications are, however, that the market is now beginning to move in the right direction. Of course, the degree to which these positive changes can be sustained is very hard to predict - but it’s possibly to say that the outlook for the Nigerian oil and gas industry for the next decade is looking brighter than the previous ten years - with some caveats. Here are some potential trends to look out for. Prices will continue their upward turn The rise in global oil prices hasn’t been spectacular, but it has at least been a rise. Brent crude was up around 90 per cent in 2016, to around US$50 per barrel, and it’s the kind of upward trajectory that will give operators in the sector the encouragement to...
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Nigerian oil and gas companies are investing more in innovation

The recent announcement that Nigeria will soon be hosting the biggest oil and gas trade show in Africa is a real sign of the times. The inaugural Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) will be held early next year in Abuja, and while many of the details about the event are yet to be firmed up, one thing is very clear already. “This is a time of exciting and groundbreaking innovation in our indigenous oil and gas industry,” says our Chairman, Mr Onajite Okoloko. “Shows like NIPS are testament to this - it is a gathering of the brightest minds in our industry that shows our growing commitment to innovation.” An age of innovation The sheer scale and ambition of the show is certainly encouraging, as it will be an opportunity for the industry to come together to share best practice, the latest technologies and to discuss the emerging trends in our ever-changing industry. It’s also a chance to showcase innovative new products and...
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US investment in digital transformation of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry

As in many industries, there is a growing trend towards the increased use of digital technology in the oil and gas industry. Whether it is the recent announcement by BP that they are investing $20m into research in to Artificial Intelligence in an attempt to transform oil and gas exploration, or Statoil’s development of a new digital centre of excellence, it’s clear that the industry is taking this very seriously indeed. Changing times It’s a welcome development then - and a sign that our own Nigerian oil and gas industry is beginning to look at the broader trends in the global economy and adapt accordingly - that technology firms in the US are showing an interest in investing in our industry. A recent announcement by The Foreign Commercial Service of the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, working alongside US tech giants Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Nigeria and its domestic partner in Nigeria, Manifold Computers, unveiled plans to introduce innovative new technology into...
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