"We hope to find partners that will be able to leverage their financial firepower with our technical expertise to acquire bigger assets and grow our presence in the market."

John Anim

MANAGING DIRECTOR, PLATFORM PETROLEUM LIMITED

April 26, 2024

Can you introduce Platform Petroleum and provide a brief history of the company? 

Platform Petroleum was established in 2001 as an indigenous company to participate in Nigeria’s oil & gas exploration and production sector. A group of experienced industry professionals founded the company. In 2002-2003, Platform Petroleum successfully secured a bid during a marginal field bidding round initiated by the Federal Government of Nigeria, which led to the award and subsequent development of the Egbaoma marginal field (formerly Asuokpu/Umutu marginal fields). The field had been discovered by Shell as far back as 1977 but remained undeveloped due to various challenges, including their small size and remote location without nearby facilities. However, with our collaborative efforts and financial backing from shareholders and a partner, we were able to overcome these challenges, develop the field and commence production in 2007. Since then, we have consistently managed and operated the field, exceeding our initial production estimates through a 60/40 JV partnership with Newcross Petroleum Limited. Our cumulative production has surpassed 12 million barrels of oil and 100 billion standard cubic feet of gas, surpassing the initial reserve estimates. The successful drilling of new wells and workover of existing wells have contributed greatly to increased production and optimum field development over the years,  thereby creating value for all stakeholders.

What significant advancements have you observed since joining the company in 2012?

Upon joining the company in 2012 as a senior reservoir engineer, one of the key challenges we faced was a rapid decline in production. To address this issue, we initiated comprehensive field studies and implemented recommendations provided by industry experts. These efforts resulted in a significant increase in production, with oil output reaching approximately 3,000 bpd and gas production increasing from 15 million standard cubic feet per day to over 30 million standard cubic feet per day. Additionally, we prioritized the utilization of produced gas, leading to a substantial improvement in gas utilization rates. For example, by 2021, we achieved over 97% gas utilization/commercialization, demonstrating our commitment to maximizing the value of our resources and eliminating routine gas flaring.

What challenges have you faced in commercializing gas in Nigeria?

Firstly, there is a lack of adequate gas infrastructure, including pipelines, which makes transporting gas to consumers challenging and costly. Additionally, the terrain in which our fields are located presents logistical difficulties, further complicating the development and transportation of gas. Despite these challenges, recent developments in the gas market offer promising opportunities for growth and investment. For example, the completion of a major trunk line reduced the distance to transport gas from our fields, making it more economically viable.

Have you seen any positive developments or legislative changes regarding gas commercialization?

There have been significant positive developments in the gas sector, including legislative changes aimed at promoting gas utilization and investment. These changes have created a more favorable environment for gas commercialization, with increasing demand for gas in both domestic and international markets. 

What are Platform Petroleum’s priorities for future growth?

Platform Petroleum has played a significant role in Nigeria's local content ecosystem, particularly in terms of acquiring and developing divested assets from major international oil companies. Moving forward, our priority is to continue expanding our portfolio. We are actively pursuing opportunities for investment and collaboration with other companies to further develop our assets and maximize value. We aspire to become one of the top five leading E&P companies in Nigeria, contributing to the country's economic development and energy security. We have several asset development projects in the pipeline with plans to start production by 2025, further solidifying our presence in the market. For example, we are currently collaborating with three other companies as their technical and financial partners to develop new fields, which will contribute to our overall growth strategy.

We see bigger opportunities on the horizon and, as a small company, we cannot fully leverage our position to take advantage of them. Therefore, we are actively seeking partnerships with local and international investors, so that Platform Petroleum can transition from a successful but relatively small independent to the higher leagues of large indigenous independent producers. 

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