A View at the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria

Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and it is the largest producer of oil and gas in Africa.

Oil exploration in Nigeria can be traced as far back to 1907, but it was until 1956 that oil was discovered in Oloibiri, Niger Delta area of Nigeria. It was discovered by Shell-BP which was the only concessionaire then. Other important oil wells were also discovered in Ogoni territory.

Oil production began in 1957 but it was only until 1958 when its first oil field came on stream that Nigeria joined the list of oil producing countries of the world. A total of 847,000 tonnes of crude was exported between 1957 and 1960. Oil exploration license were given to non British firms in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mobil, Tenneco, started exploring in Nigeria in the year 1955, 1960 respectively, while, Gulf oil and Chevron started in 1961, and in 1962 Elf and Agip started exploring.

After Shell D’Arcy Petroleum discovery of petroleum, the first production began in 1958 in oloibiri at the company’s oil field. By the late 1960s and early 1970s the country as attained a production level of 2 million barrel per day. Due to the slump experienced in the economy, production level of the crude oil dropped in the 1980s. the country’s oil production bounced back and increased to a record high of about 2.5 million barrels per day

The production of petroleum plays a major role in the economic development of Nigeria. It accounts for about ninety percent of the country’s total gross domestic product. Agriculture which was the major source of revenue generation in the 1950s and 1960s in Nigeria was neglected because of the major role played by the petroleum industry in revenue generation in the country.

Below are some of the major events that played out in the history of Nigeria oil and gas


Search for crude oil commenced in okitipupa by the Nigerian Bitumen Co. and British colonial petroleum.


Operating license was granted to Shell D’Arcy to search for oil throughout the country.


Nigeria granted Mobile Oil the license to operate in the country


Shell D’Arcy successfully drilled the first oil well in Oloibiri.

Shell D’Arcy successfully changed its name to Shell-BP Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited.


The first time that oil was shipped from Nigeria.


The Bonny Terminal was commissioned by Shell.

Nigeria granted operations to Texaco overseas


Operations was granted to Elf and Agip oil


Obagi field was discovered by Elf including the first production of the Ubata gas field gulf


Operations in Bendel state was started by Phillips oil.

Agip first oil was found in Ebocha.


Production was started in river state by Elf with 12,000 barrel per day


The formation of Mobil Producing Nigeria Ltd.

The commissioning of Escravos Gulf’s terminal


Petroleum Resources Inspectorate department was started.

Production started by Agip.


The commissioning of forcados terminal by Shell.

Mobil terminal was also commissioned in Qua.


The drilling of Ogharefe oil well discovered by Pan Ocean Corporation


The upgrading of DPR to petroleum resources ministry


MPE was also upgrade to petroleum resource ministry


The consolidation of NNPC/Shell agreement


A memorandum of understanding was signed


Final decision on investment was taken by NLNG


First shipment of Gas from Bonny Terminal by NLNG


The contract signing between Nigerian petroleum Development Company and Nigerian Agip Oil Company.


Retail outlet scheme was commenced by NNPC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *