as an important regional player’
is one of the new breed of small Nigerian indigenous oil companies.
Headed by group chairman Prince Engr. Arthur Eze, the company
is one of just a handful of local firms currently producing oil. Mr Eze
also owns Oranto, another indigenous player that has secured an exploration
licence in Nigerias deepwater acreage as well as various overseas
Working alongside technical partners such as TransAtlantic Petroleum of
the US and Canadas Nexen, the company has stabilised production
levels on its Ejubele field on block OML 106 at around 3,500 bpd (initial
output was 11,000 bpd) and is actively engaged in exploration efforts
on other Nigerian blocks.
has responded to the governments call for greater indigenous participation
in the upstream sector, although Mr Eze says that he wants to see the
company grow even faster and stronger to assist the national
development effort. Naturally, as an indigenous player, the company invests
heavily in Nigerian people.
We employ many Nigerians, as geologists, engineers and other staff,
he says. We spend huge funds on manpower development because we
believe that a well-positioned workforce is the engine of development
required for the advancement of business.
In the longer term, Mr Eze wants Atlas and its sister company, Oranto,
to develop into important regional players. In total, the group boasts
10 oil blocks throughout Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea where it is
in partnership with Australias Roc Oil and Côte dIvoire,
producing around 10,000 bpd.
diversified portfolio for better growth’
Okoye, Atlass managing director, says the company is keen
to broaden its coverage further. We are looking at other business
opportunities and we believe that with a diversified portfolio you position
yourself for better growth, he says.
He draws parallels with the Brazilian experience in which state oil firm
Petrobras is now deeply involved in international projects, including
some in Nigeria and other west African states. Again, training and development
of local personnel is a key factor.
an environment where Nigerians are fully empowered, the gains will manifest
in the entire economy and indeed rub off on the continent,
he says. In the long run this will enhance our ability to develop
relationships with other countries on the west coast, just like the Brazilians
who now traverse the globe in their quest to expand their horizons.
Mr Okoye says that an important part of the equation will be to continue
to forge successful and productive partnerships with highly skilled and
solvent foreign oil firms.
We feel that, through the right partnerships, we can enable our
business to grow and so take Atlas to even greater heights, he says.