"PETAN was instrumental in drafting the Nigerian Local Content Act, which has been a turning point in the industry. Due to local content, Nigerians today own drilling rigs as well as 40% of marine vessels. The key is nurturing home grown entrepreneurs who operate at an international standard."

Bank-Anthony Okoroafor


March 17, 2020

How does PETAN contribute to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria?

PETAN is an association comprised of more than 250 Nigerian entrepreneurs, established 30 years ago. Our goal is to build Nigerian content by helping Nigerian companies build their capacity and capability through equipment and personnel and expose them to more opportunities. We are proud to see a difference in the number of contracts being awarded to locals as opposed to foreigners throughout the entire value chain since our establishment. We promote originality within our members to encourage them to use their own systems and equipment. PETAN was instrumental in drafting the Nigerian Local Content Act, which has been a turning point in the industry. Due to local content, Nigerians today own drilling rigs as well as 40% of marine vessels. The key is nurturing home grown entrepreneurs who operate at an international standard. As we turn 30 years this year, we have achieved a lot in our people and will continue to work harder as the energy dynamics in the world changes to ensure we are not left behind.

What is the current state of exploration and how can the government incentivise it?

Most of the IOCs have not been exploring, which has negative consequences on the industry. This is due to the uncertainty surrounding the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has been up in the air for the last two decades. The government must take a stance and force all the IOCs to undertake a minimum amount of exploration annually. Exploration is the key to utilising Nigeria’s reserves; we are sitting on at least 300 billion barrels of oil and 600 Tcf gas, which we must utilise. I believe that the PIB will pass before the end of 2020 since, for once, the National Assembly and the Executive office are working together. The current law is outdated and the PIB will bring clarity and stability to the industry.

Is privatization the answer to increase the efficiency of Nigeria’s state-owned refineries?

PETAN’s values are based on Nigerian entrepreneurship, therefore we believe that the role of Government is a purely regulatory one as opposed to a commercial one. Privatizing the refineries is the best way to ensure their profitability and efficiency. A private refinery will be led by its profit-motive and ensuring a return on investment to its stakeholders. With the coming of the Dangote refinery, we hope to see increased privatization of the state-owned refineries.

What is your vision for PETAN in the upcoming years?

We just launched the PETAN seal of quality. The PETAN seal of quality and competence will be used to regulate all service companies whether they belong to PETAN or not. The idea behind the initiative is to enable companies to build competencies so that they can compete anywhere in the world and also enable Nigeria to achieve a higher percentage level in the local content participation in the oil and gas service industry. It will separate the portfolio carrying companies from the real service providers and institutionalize the oil and gas service delivery. All service companies will be separated into several Trade Group Interests (TGI) and structured capacity and competency levels clearly defined properly in a simple, consistent and measurable way. Any company with the seal is deemed to have demonstrated key competences and capability in the TGI area. This will also provide a structured way of building competences and capabilities to new entrants in the Nigerian oil and gas market. The sectors can be classified as follows: fabrication and construction, electric wireline services, formation evaluation services, slickline services, pipeline laying, pigging and maintenance services, pipeline coating, early production services and well testing, coiled tubing, N2 and pumping services, engineering design services, FEWD/MWD/LWD/DD, rigs and workover units, well engineering and completion , seismic acquisition, processes and interpretation services, reservoir engineering, geophysical and geological services, ROV technology, diving, marine vessels, HSE training, training services and manpower, automation, instrumentation, electrical, EPC, well construction services, cementing, sand control, completions and well intervention services.

We continue to promote a culture of originality and value creation by enhancing the knowledge of our members through conferences and training. PETAN is also excited to launch its own facility along with a dedicated oil and gas museum aimed at teaching the Nigerian youth about the industry. The facility will be in Port Harcourt. We just set up a professorial chair endowment at the university of Port Harcourt, to be led by the famous Professor Falade to promote petroleum engineering studies.

Do you have a final message to our international readership?

Nigeria has the potential to provide power to the 600 million Africans living in darkness, especially with the great gas reserves. There is so much untapped potential within this country that must be commercialised. We must transform from a rent seeking economy to an engine of industrialization where we add value to our crude oil through refining and petrochemicals and use our gas for an engine for economic transformation.


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