95% of oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria is carried out under a joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Foreign Multi-national Corporations under the umbrella of the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC). The remaining 5% is being explore by independent domestic oil and gas companies usually in marginal areas.
This foreign oil and gas companies in Nigeria are 6 in number. These includes; Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Agip, Total and Texaco. Since these Multi-national foreign oil and gas companies are operating in Nigeria and have to obey the laws of the country, they all added Nigeria to their names. Each of the oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria currently will be discussed briefly below.
1. SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY OF NIGERIA LIMITED (SPDC)
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) known simply as Shell Nigeria is the largest oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria. This is a joint venture operated by Shell which account for the 50% of the oil production in Nigeria. These venture is made up of Shell (30%), NNPC (55%), TotalfinaElf (10%) and Agip (5%). This SPDC venture has more than 100 oil fields, operates 2 coastal oil export terminals (Bonny and Forcados terminals – storage capacity of 13 million barrels) as well as having network of more than 6,000 kilometres of pipelines passing through 87 flowstations. Shell Nigeria was the oil and gas company that discovered oil in commercial quantity at Oloibiri in 1956. Aside the SPDC, Shell Nigeria also own the Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG), Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and Shell Nigeria Oil Products (SNOP). It is also a major stakeholder in Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG).
2. MOBIL PRODUCING NIGERIA UNLIMITED (MPNU)
This is ExxonMobil subsidiary in Nigeria. It is the 2nd largest oil and gas company in Nigeria producing nothing less than 900,000 bbl/d. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) is a joint venture operated by ExxonMobil between the Nigerian Federal Government and ExxonMobil where the Federal Government takes 60% of the revenue while ExxonMobil takes the remaining 40% in it shallow water offshore operations. Exxonmobil also holds a 50% revenue from it deep water block further offshore. Mobil have one petroleum exporting terminal – Qua Ibom Terminal in Akwa Ibom State to be precise. The headquarters of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) is in Eket.
3. CHEVRON NIGERIA LIMITED (CNL)
Chevron Nigeria Limited is a joint venture between NNPC (60%) and Chevron (40%) for the onshore and offshore productions in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. This is the 3rd largest oil and gas company in Nigeria after the Shell and ExxonMobil affiliated oil companies. One of the numerous oil fields they operate is the Agbami field which is one of the largest deepwater discoveries. as at the 2015, Chevron Nigeria Limited produces an average of 224,000 barrels of crude oil and 246 million cubic feet of natural gas as well as 6,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas daily. The Escravos Terminal in Delta State that has a storage capacity of 3.6 million barrels is owned by Chevron Nigeria Limited.
4. NIGERIAN AGIP OIL COMPANY LIMITED (NAOC)
Agip is one of the largest oil and gas companies in Nigeria. This oil and gas company operates in Nigeria under the venture known as the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC). This is a joint venture operated by Agip which features NNPC having 60% ownership, Agip having 20% and ConocoPhillips having the remaining 20% ownership. The Brass Terminal in Brass, Port Harcourt which has a storage capacity of 3,558,000 barrels is operated by this oil and gas company.
5. TOTAL PETROLEUM NIGERIA LIMITED (TPNL)
Total oil and gas company had been exploring and producing oil in the last 50 years under a joint venture with the NNPC owing 50% of the venture while Total owns the remaining 40% known as Total Petroleum Nigeria Limited (TPNL). This oil and gas company in Nigeria begin operating in 1962 and have a staff strength of around 1,700. It also have about 500 servicing stations scattered within Nigeria.
6. TEXACO OVERSEA PETROLEUM COMPANY OF NIGERIA LIMITED
Texaco had been merged with Chevron so this oil and gas company in Nigeria is a joint venture between NNPC (60%), Texaco (20%) and Chevron (20%). This NNPC Texaco-Chevron joint venture remains one of the big oil and gas company in Nigeria with the Pennington Terminal as it export terminal. This venture produces about 60,000 barrels of oil daily.
The above 6 foreign Multi-national Corporations oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria had taken the largest share leaving a negligible 5% to the numerous indigenous oil and gas companies. I regard these ventures as the Big 6 in the oil and gas industry.