Nigeria’s offshore oil, gas market is huge, says Baker Hughes

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BusinessDay by Femi Asu

August 21, 2014

Nigeria’s huge offshore oil and gas resources, which remain largely dormant, present opportunities for oil service providers such as Baker Hughes, which says it is poised to remain a major player in big offshore plays in the country.

Speaking at the Baker Hughes Techno Day Conference and Exhibition on Wednesday in Lagos, Ayo Shote, vice president and managing director, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea at Baker Hughes, said the company’s presence in the offshore market in Nigeria was limited prior to 2006, adding that restructuring in the Nigerian oil and gas industry boosted involvement in the offshore space. “We invested, we brought in technology, we invested in people and also we were able to reach some deepwater tendencies and that helped to improve our response.”

“Now going forward, offshore continues to be important. There is no way we can take our eyes off that. So we are focused on the offshore market. For us that is one of our biggest growth areas. And we will continue to invest in people, in infrastructure, in equipment and in technology to ensure that we remain a major player in the big offshore plays in Nigeria,” he told BusinessDay on the sidelines of the event.

Nigeria’s offshore space is bigger than what we have done in the past. We have fields out there that we have not taken advantage of, according to Shote.

Nigeria boasts of huge offshore oil and gas resources yet to be exploited amid regulatory and security risks. Current exploration activities in Nigeria are mostly focused in the deep and ultra-deep offshore areas with some activities planned in the Chad basin, located in the North East of the country, notes KPMG’s 2014 Oil and Gas Africa report, adding that the future for expanding oil reserves is likely to be in deep offshore fields.

Investment in Africa’s oil and gas business is expected to increase between now and down through 2016 and beyond, Shote said.
According to him, Africa cannot be left out in the entire global energy landscape, stating that “we will continue to remain important and grow. We have been in Nigeria since the beginning. In Nigeria we are seeing the increasing importance of indigenous participation.”

He said to support the increased investment in Africa’s oil and gas business, the company has a huge presence in the continent.

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