Optimizing Nigeria's Oil & Gas Capacity: The Bonga Field Experience

Since 2005 when Nigeria’s oil capacity increased by 10% due to the participation of local workforce in the Bonga field project which was the biggest discovery in Africa at the time, the capacity of local indigenes involved in oil & gas projects have continued to swell up. Bonga has become a good testimonial for the success of local content policy in Nigeria. Local content, according to the NNPC is  defined as the “quantum of composite value; either added to or created in the Nigerian economy through a deliberate utilization of Nigerian human resources, material resources and services in the exploration, development, exploitation, transportation and sales of Nigerian crude oil and gas resources. We strive to achieve it without compromising internationally accepted quality, health, safety and environmental standards “. 


Bonga field which commenced production in 2005 was Nigeria’s premier oil and gas project in more than 1,000 meter of water. As at today, Bonga offshore core workforce including engineers, geologist, technologist and support staff are 90% Nigerians. This is helping to boost Nigeria’s economy and increase the involvement of the local populace in the running of oil and gas industry in their country. This gives credence to World Bank’s definition of local content as “the extent to which the output of the extractive industry sector generates further benefits to the economy beyond the direct contribution of its value-added, as through links to other sectors.”

 Bayo Ojulari
Managing Director

Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company ( SNEPCo)

Pictures Source: SNEPCo website

It is estimated that Bonga field has the capacity of adding more than 200,000 barrels of crude oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas to Nigeria’s daily production. The competence of Nigeria work force in the development of Bonga field and allied subsea technologies have shown that the country has come of age in the global oil and gas industry.


To elucidate more on the successes through technology and core workforce  participation  in manning complex deepwater projects which Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company  that runs the Bonga field project has initiated  and also to showcase the future of deep water activities in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, Bayo Ojulari, the Managing Director of SNPCo will make a keynote presentation at the 9th Annual Sub-Saharan Africa Oil & Gas Conference scheduled for April 27 -28, 2016 at Houston Marriott Westchase, USA.


Bayo Ojulari, a graduate of mechanical engineering has over 24 years of diverse exploration and production experience in Nigeria, Europe, and the Middle East in core Process Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Development, Production Engineering and HSE management.


Bayo is a member of the board of directors of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, operator of Nigeria’s largest JV agreement. Until his current role, he was the General Manager, Development for Shell in Nigeria in which position he was responsible for onshore, shelf and deep--water field developments and engineering.


He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and was SPE Nigeria Council Chairman in 1998/99. Bayo has written several technical papers and received several awards in the field of Engineering and Leadership.

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