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Nigeria - History of Oil Exploration.

Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956 at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta after half a century of exploration. The find was made by Shell-BP, at the time the sole concessionaire. Nigeria joined the oil producers in 1958 when its first oilfield came on stream at 5,100 b/d.

After 1960, exploration rights in onshore and offshore areas adjoining the Niger Delta were extended to other foreign companies. The following are the main events in the history of the Nigerian petroleum sector:
1908 - Nigerian Bitumen Co. of Germany & British Colonial Petroleum begin operations.

1938 - Shell D' Arcy gets oil E&P concession throughout Nigeria.

1955 - Mobil Oil Corp begins operations in Nigeria.

1956 - 1st Shell D'Arcy's oil find Oloibiri; firm changes name to Shell-BP.

1958 - First shipment of crude oil from Nigeria.

1961 - Shell's Bonny Terminal commissioned. Texaco begins operations.

1962 - Elf starts operations as Safrap; Agip begins operations.

1963 - Elf finds Obagi oil & Ubata gas fields; Gulf Oil's first production begins.

1965 - Agip finds oil at Ebocha; Phillips starts operations in Bendel State.

1966 - Elf begins production in Rivers State at 12,000 b/d.

1967 - Phillips' 1st oil find at Gilli-Gilli-I.

1968 - Mobil Producing Nigeria Ltd formed. Gulf Oil's Terminal at Escravos starts up (Gulf Oil & Texaco later became part of Chevron).

1970 - Mobil begins production at Idoho Field; Agip starts production; Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) starts up.

1971 - Shell's Forcados Terminal starts up; Mobil's Qua Iboe Terminal starts up.

1973 - 1st Participation Agreement; Fed Govt acquires 35% in the oil companies; Ashland starts PSC with NNOC (later NNPC).

1974 - 2nd Participation Agreement, Fed Govt raises equity to 55%; Elf changes name from Safrap; Ashland's 1st oil find at Ossu-I.

1975-76 - 1st crude oil lifting from Brass Terminal by Agip; DPR upgraded to Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR); Pan Ocean begins production via Shell-BP pipeline at 10,800 b/d.

1977 - State sets up Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) by Decree 33, (NNOC & MPR abolished). But years later the MRP was revived as regulator and licensor.

1979 - 3rd Participation Agreement raises equity to 60%; 4th Participation Agreement; BP's shareholding nationalised, leaving NNPC with 80% equity and Shell 20% in the JV; Shell changes name to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).

1984 - Agreement consolidates NNPC/Shell JV.

1986 - Signing of MoU with the main oil producers.

1989 - 5th Participation Agreement; (NNPC=60%, Shell=30%, Elf=5%, Agip=5%).

1991 - Signing of MoU & JV Operating Agreement (JOA).

1993 - PSC signed - SNEPCO; 6th Participation Agreement; (NNPC=55%, Shell=30%, Elf=10%, Agip=5%); coming on stream of Elf's Odudu blend, offshore OML100.

1995 - NLNG's final investment decision taken.

1999 - NLNG's 1st shipment of LNG out of Bonny Terminal.

2000 - NPDC/NAOC service contract signed.

2001 - Production of Okono offshore field.

2002 - New PSCs signed; liberalisation of the downstream oil sector begins; NNPC begins retail scheme.

2003 - Niger Delta unrest causes 840,000 b/d (40%) of Nigeria's output to be shut in.

2005-06 - 500,000 b/d on stream raises Nigeria's capacity in early 2007 to 3m b/d.

2007 -Umaru Yar'Adua, elected president on April 21, was sworn in on May 29 as President Olusegun Obasanjo stepped down after an eight-year tenure. On July 26, Yar'Adua formed a 39-member cabinet. He retains to himself the Energy portfolio, having appointed three state ministers: Henry Odein Ajumogobia for petroleum, Odusina Olatunde Emmanuel for natural gas, and Mrs. Fatima Balaraba Ibrahim for electric power.

2008 - DPR evaluates firms to help develop the gas sector from E&P down.

2009 - Rilwanu Lukman becomes oil minister; Petroleum Industry Bill is debated.
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Date:Aug 3, 2009
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