REGIONAL PLAYER

Nigeria 2018 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Oluseyi Makinde, Group MD of Makon Group, on its flagship gas projects, the importance of benchmarking operations to global standards, and the impact of the PIB.

 Oluseyi Makinde
BIOGRAPHY
Oluseyi Makinde started his career in the oil and gas industry over 23 years ago, having studied at the University of Lagos, MIT Sloan School of Business, and Lagos Business School. After leaving in 1991, he was engaged by Rebold International Limited with the responsibilities of field operation/engineering. In 1997, he founded Makon Engineering and Technical Services Limited (METS). In addition to METS, Makinde oversees Makon Oil and Gas, Makon Power System, and Makon Energy Pty Limited.

What have been some of Makon Group's milestones and achievements over the past two years?

In the past two years, we have commissioned our flagship projects, including the Utorogu NAG2, a 150 million standard cubic feet (MMscfd) natural gas handling facility. It is fully commissioned and is supplying gas according to the West African Gas Pipeline specification into the Excravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS). In electricity terms, this quantity of gas will generate close to 600MW of electricity and equals between 10 and 15% of the national generation capacity for electricity, which hovers around 4,000-6,000MW. On flare-out projects, we are currently in the commissioning phase for Adibawa AG. Its capacity is 5MMscfd, though is an associated gas (AG) solution gas project. We take the gas that is produced with the oil, we compress it, and sell it back for further processing through the gas pipeline network. We are working on a number of other gas-related projects, such as the Egbema AG and NAG gas-processing facility for gas supply to Egbema power plant and the 3Us, which will remove flares from different flow stations around Utorogu and Ughelli East nodes. We have done all this with zero lost-time injuries, which is a key achievement for the organization.

What is your ultimate ambition for Makon Group?

My ultimate ambition is to have an organization that can be benchmarked to international standards. I also want Makon to be the company of choice when people talk about project delivery in this corner of the world. In the past, when ExxonMobil sought a company to assist with automation and control scope, our name came up. I hope in the future this happens more. In Cameroon or Chad, we went in there to work without any advantage and we competed well with international companies. That is why we must benchmark our operations such that if we compete regionally, we can hold our own. There are companies from South Africa that seek opportunities in this region as well; therefore, we have to be ready to compete as we want to play in the entire Gulf of Guinea markets, namely from Mauritania to Angola, if possible. However, it has to make sense and be profitable for us.

Now that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been passed, what is your vision for how the industry will change?

There have been honest efforts to make a dent in the progress to pass the bill; however, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Thus, we still have quite a ways to go. I still feel positive about the potential impact of the PIB on the industry. We have been doing things the same way for several years, and any practitioner in the industry would agree that things must change. There has been progress, though very slow. Oil and gas activities are the heart of our being as a country. Once we see changes in the oil and gas industry, it will visibly affect all the other sectors of the economy. People are unsure; they do not know how it will affect them personally. However, we are on the right track; we just need to move faster and with greater determination.

What is your outlook for 2018?

We have seen positive movement, especially with the current price of oil. That should allow certain projects to go on. Most of the indigenous operators that bought diversified assets from IOCs are negotiating with banks on how to restructure their loans. Once they finish that exercise, funding should be available to many of them. Some of the projects that were stalled will come back onstream. I see a positive outlook for 2018.