There is a lot of emphasis right now in Nigeria on gas. We’re now more focused on gas production as a country, so there will be a push to build more gas infrastructure.

Chinedu MADUAKOH Managing Director and CEO TOPLINE

Natural gas growth in Nigeria

July 11, 2018

Chinedu Maduakoh, the managing director and CEO of Topline, talks to TOGY about the need to replace ageing pipelines, Nigeria’s shift in focus from oil to gas production and potential investment areas. Topline is a Nigerian pipeline and process engineering service company that serves the upstream oil and gas industry in Nigeria and UAE.

• On ageing pipelines: “Some of these pipelines are 40 years old and older, and it’s a challenge because quite a lot of them have outlived their lifespan. There’s no desire by the asset owners to replace them. The primary reasons for this is political uncertainty and the dip in the price of oil.”

• On natural gas: “There is a lot of emphasis right now in Nigeria on gas. We’re now more focused on gas production as a country, so there will be a push to build more gas infrastructure.”

• On local content: “We’re definitely moving in the right direction. Local content has enabled a lot of local companies a window of opportunity to participate in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”

Most TOGY interviews are published exclusively on our business intelligence platform TOGYiN, but you can find an abridged version of our interview with Chinedu Maduakoh below.

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What is the general state of pipelines in the Nigerian oil and gas industry?
The pipelines are old and ageing, and I see very little effort by the asset owners and government to replace them. Some of these pipelines are 40 years old and older, and it’s a challenge because quite a lot of them have outlived their lifespan. There’s no desire by the asset owners to replace them. The primary reasons for this is political uncertainty and the dip in the price of oil. On the flip side, there is a lot of ongoing maintenance. With the current price of oil creeping up, hopefully there will be a big push to replace ageing pipeline assets.
There is a lot of emphasis right now in Nigeria on gas; we’re now more focused on gas production as a country, so there will be a push to build more gas infrastructure. This will give us a lot of opportunities for growth.

How well is local content policy being implemented?
The Local Content Act was a good step in the right direction. There has been a change of guard in the board of the NCDMB [Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board]. The new executive secretary is an astute professional, and has an excellent professional pool of personnel. He is quite knowledgeable on local content and it’s challenges. We’re definitely moving in the right direction. Local content has enabled a lot of local companies a window of opportunity to participate in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

What are Topline’s latest developments?
In 2017, we had a few contracts, working for SPDC [Shell Petroleum Development Company] cleaning and maintaining their pipeline network in the eastern division. We are also one of the emergency pipeline repair contractors for Total, and we are also inspecting Chevron’s pipelines.
2018 is proving to be a busy year for us. We just secured new contracts with Nigeria LNG, namely an emergency pipeline repair contract, a valve change-out project for their leaking valves and a cleaning and inspection contract for all of their pipelines. We started off the year on a pretty busy note.

In what areas do you see potential for growth?
We are currently looking outside the box in terms of growth. We have offices in Abu Dhabi and are looking at opportunities there. We are looking at expansion into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where we already have existing partners.

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