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NPDC EXCELS AT 30

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inancial experts have stated that eightypercentofNigerian businesses do not survive beyond their first five years.Thatperhapsis why startups do not take anniversaries forgranted.TheNigerianPetroleum DevelopmentCompany Limited (NPDC) has not just survived its first five years, but has recently clocked thirty years in a much better position than it started.

 

Thirty years ago when NPDC took its first step as a business concern, not many gave it a chance at success. The terrain was tough and murky, largely dominated by the big multinational oil companies, with bottomless pockets,worldclass technology and deep ties to the political class. When NPDC was established in 1988 as a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) of the Nigerian NationalPetroleum Corporation (NNPC) wholly responsible for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (E&P), there were lots of skepticism.

 

Thirty years after, NPDC has survived, and grown from a marginal E&P Company producingcirca5000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) to a giant producing 250,000bopd and placed among the top five players on the industry ladder. The company is now on course to increase its daily production output to 500,000bopd by 2020.

 

With regards to reserves, NPDC has grown from meager 35MMBOE (million barrels of oil equivalent) to the current crude oil reserves in excess of 2 billion barrels. Also, from a workforce of tens of people to about one thousand in 2018. NPDC continues to grow in leaps and constantly repositions itself for success in an industry that is always evolving to meet market demands and expectations.

 

But the road to the top has been farfromsmooth.Indeed,NPDC has had to survive against all odds, including,governmentbureaucracies, inadequate manpower, poor funding, logistics challenges and the listgoes on. These experiencesarebetter captured by some of those whoplayedpioneering role in the establishment of the company. At the top of that list is Chief Chamberlain Oruwari Oyibo, who was the first Managing Director of NPDC. In one of his interviews, Chief Oyibo explained that “NPDC had a troubled beginning mainly due to the challenging business environment and stiff competition, from the multinational oil companies coupled with inadequate funding”.

 

“Whenwecame,wewereabit despondent because Exploitation and Exploration (E&E) then had made a lot of discoveries and since they were not developed,thosefieldsdiscovered had gone to the ELFs and Mobils of that time. Then we went to the second stage where we decided that we were going to take smaller fields, we had done a lot of work, again those second sets were taken away.Sowhenwewere coming here, we said, what are we really coming here to do? But I must give credit totheGroupManaging Director at that time, the Late Chief Aret Adams, who said: look, let’s go and start with Oredo and then Abura.”

 

Chief Oyibo and his team were made to start from ground zero. They had very limited funds; logistics was a major problem and the office was small as they had to share a building with NigerianGasCompany (NGC). On top of that, some of the major discoveriestheymade in those early days were summarilyreallocatedto some of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and some Nigerian companies owned by the political elites.

 

Accordingtoreports,between1988 and 1990, NPDC lost over a billion barrel ofreservetothe maneuvers of the IOCs. “It was indeed a very trying moment. We were dejected, but we knew that we had to fight. We decided that from the so-called drakes they left with us we were going to make it grow into something enviable,” Chief Oyibo said.

 

Determinedtosucceed, the company set out to work and demonstrated the expertise and experience of its Management and staff. By 1989, NPDC took over Abura field fromTenneco/Sunray/Mobilwhereit made its first hit with the production of 980 barrels of crude oil. Abura was small, but it provided that little spark of hope that was crucial to keep the flames of the company burning. Since then, the  company has grown astronomically to become a significant player, in the industry, and still soaring higher.

Today,NPDCisthefifthlargestOil Producer in Nigeria with operations concentrated in six states in the Niger Delta region (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo and Rivers).  NPDC proudly holds interest in 29 concessions (22 Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) and 7 Oil Prospecting License (OPLs)); One hundred per cent (100%) ownership of six (6) blocks - OMLs 13, 64, 65, 66, 111 and 119.  Fifty-five per cent (55%) equity in eight (8) blocks - OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 40, 41 and 42. Others include sixty per cent (60%) equity in four (4) blocks - OMLs 60, 61, 62 and 63; varied interest in seven (7) deep-water concessions - OPLs 223, 242, 244, 251, 325, 332 and OML 145.  It also operates four OMLs with Chevron and SPDC on behalf of NNPC as Non-equity operations in four (4) blocks - OMLs 11, 20, 49 and 51.

 

From a paltry 980bopd in 1989, NPDC’s daily product now stands at 250,000bopd and it is still soaring higher. NPDC has equally flourished in its gas ambitions with the production and delivery of about 700 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscfg/d) to the national grid via the Escravos–Lagos PipelineSystem(ELPS) in line with the Federal Government’s gas to power project.However,despitethesuccessesso far achieved, NPDC is not resting on its oars. The company is committed to finding new innovative ways to grow its revenue, contribute to FG’s foreign exchange earnings; focus more on gascommercialization to maximize profit, apply keyinterventionon performance managementoperatingskillsand capabilities as well as proper management and measurement of financial performance in line with global best practice.

 

To this end, NPDC has set a new daily production target of 500,000bopd by 2020. The new mandate is intended to drive more relevance for NPDC as it strives to become Nigeria’s leading Oil and Gas producer. An ambitious project no doubt, but one that the Managing Director, Mr. Yusuf Matashi is confident that NPDC has the resources and willingness to achieve its set goals.

 

In the last few years, NPDC has aggressively rebrandedandrepositioneditself tobemorecompetitive andproductive.Thecompanyhas developed a robust human capacity development strategy that has seen its staff exposed to some of the most up-to-dateandrigoroustraining globally.Theupskillingstrategyhas tremendouslygrownNPDC’sskill competency base, making it possible for the company toundertakecomplex engineeringprojectswithlittle or no inputs from foreign partners andtherebyaccomplishingFederal Government’s local content development policy initiatives.

 

NPDC also recognizes the critical role played by its host communities in the course of these thirty years. Of course, there have been moments of conflicts and violence,butprogress have been made,man-hourlossesoccasioned bycommunityrelations issues have been reduced to the barest minimum largely due to NPDC’s proactive interventions. NPDC has over the years built trust and supported its over two hundred and fifty host communitiesbyinvesting in infrastructural developmentsacross the various settlements where it operates.NPDChasalsobeenresoluteinits commitment to creating a safe working environmentbystrictlyadhering tointernationalHealth,Safetyand Environment (HSE) standards for its business operations.

 

ThestoryofNPDCcannotbefully appreciatedwithoutemphasizing certain epochal moments which helped crystallized its evolution and growth. Forexample,between 2010 and 2012, the Federal Government handed over eight assets namely OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 40, 41 and 42 to NPDC. It was a massive show of confidence in the company by the Federal Government.

 

In 2013, the company also adopted  the Global Memoradum of Understanding (GMoU) framework which built the capacity oflocalcommunitiesonsustainable development, management of funds and implementation of projects in the various communities.

 

Furthermore, in 2015, for the first time in the history of Oil andGasproductionin Nigeria, NPDC successfully drilled and completed five horizontal wells in nine months to boost production volume by 12,000 bopd in OML 26. The completion and commissioning of the 150MMscfg/d Utorogu NAG II gas Plant; 100MMscfg/d Oredo Gas supply to Pan Ocean Company Limited; 80MMscfg/d Odidi CPF gas Plant are unforgettable moments. NPDC, which is now the second largest supplier of gas to the Nigerian market, would soon join the league of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distributors across West African-sub region with the completion of the new 100MMscfg/d Integrated Gas Handling Facility (IGHF) which will also produce 330 tons of LPG and 300 tons of Propane daily.      

 

Noneoftheseaccomplishmentswould havebeenachievedwithoutthe  dedicatedandfocused workforce, the Federal Government of Nigeria, NNPC, National Assembly, host communities, StatesGovernmentsandofcourse   Nigerians who believed and trusted in the success of a truly Nigerian Oil and Gas company. All these stakeholders are important and their support will be crucial for NPDC going forward.

 

While it is time to celebrate vision,  hard work, perseverance, dedication, faith, sacrifice, teamwork, courage and the great footprints of the founding fathers of the company. This anniversary should serve as a platformto advertise our accomplishments, milestones and future goals. It is without doubt a time to ponder over our past shortfalls and be inspired by the big picture of the future, since what lies ahead is far greater than our past successes.

Happy 30th Anniversary, NPDC!!!

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