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Charting a New Course: Reflections on the Landmark Acquisition by Renaissance Africa Energy Company Limited; Opportunities for Growth in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry

I reflect with great enthusiasm on the groundbreaking announcement of the acquisition of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited’s Nigeria equity interest through a landmark transaction involving Renaissance Africa Energy Company Limited. This consortium, comprised of ND Western Limited, Aradel Energy Limited, the Petrolin Group, FIRST Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited, and the Waltersmith Group, marks a significant milestone in our quest to unlock Nigeria’s remaining oil and gas reserves and spur production growth.

The divestment by Shell in favor of a consortium of Nigerian independent operators and an international company is a momentous development, aligning with our shared vision to open up investment opportunities that fuel the nation’s economic growth and diversification. It is a rewarding outcome stemming from the federal government’s indigenous operatorship program of the 1990s and subsequent initiatives like the marginal fields program in the 2000s, which catalyzed the growth of Nigerian independents.

At the maiden edition of the NAPE’s Divestment Workshop in July 2022, the speakers x-rayed Nigeria’s capacity to produce over 2 MMb/d from the encompassing prolific onshore, shallow water, and rapidly emerging deep offshore assets. However, challenges such as the Niger Delta crises, unstable fiscal policies due to the delayed passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (now Act), and the decline in investment appetite led to a decline in oil and gas production, impacting the country’s revenue resilience.

While the asset divestment signals a shift, it is imperative for all stakeholders to view this as an opportunity for a paradigm shift in policies, regulations, and the challenging operating environment. A substantial annual investment is needed to stabilize production above 2 MMb/d, and it is crucial to match the recent divestment with commensurate investments.

As we embrace this welcome development, managing the transition is equally crucial to stimulating massive investments, reversing production declines, and capturing reserve growth. We must change our reserve depletion strategy, ensure reliable evacuation strategies, minimize losses, theft, and vandalism, and drive growth in oil and gas production. Collaboration among indigenous operators is vital, emphasizing the urgency to maximize value, activate recovery methods, upgrade facilities, and reconfigure the overall evacuation system.

It is incumbent upon us to work collaboratively, leveraging this opportunity to grow and monetize our nation’s resources, particularly in anticipation of the global decline in demand for liquids. This landmark acquisition is not just a transfer of assets but a call to action for all stakeholders to unite, innovate, and secure the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Together, let us usher in an era of growth, resilience, and sustainability, ensuring the continued prosperity of our industry and our country.


Abiodun Ogunjobi, FNAPE

President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE)