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Oil & Gas - October 15, 2022

Top 5 Oil Well Operators in Nigeria

The sector of mineral fuels, oils, and distillation products produced over 80% of Nigeria’s export value in 2019, accounting for over $47 billion dollars. There are 7,296 oil wells in Nigeria, run by 74 companies and one unknown entity. The companies comprise of both local and international companies. 

Nigeria has been producing the most oil in Africa for many years. However, production has recently been impeded by theft and sabotage at manufacturing facilities.

Over 500 oil wells are located in the Niger-delta region, 193 of which are still producing while 23 have stopped in Nigeria.

Some of these oil wells were last drilled far back in November 1938 and most recent in December 2028. Let’s take a look at five of the top oil well operators in Nigeria. 


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1. Shell

According to data, Shell has operated 2,678 wells in Nigeria. The company has been active in the country since 1937. 

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has more than 6,000 kilometres of pipelines and flowlines, 87 flowstations, 8 gas plants and more than 1,000 producing wells. 

The company employs more than 4,500 people directly of whom 95 per cent are Nigerians. Some 66 per cent of the Nigerian staff members are from the Niger Delta. 

Another 20,000 people are employed indirectly through the network of companies that provide supplies and services.

The company also listed 63 drilling locations, 50 plugged and abandoned gas wells, 6 oil wells, 278 plugged and abandoned oil wells, 13 plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells, and 223 plugged and abandoned wells. 

2. Mobil Nigeria – now double one “11” Plc

Through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Federal Government of Nigeria and Mobil Producing Unlimited (MPN) run a joint venture. The Federal Government owns 60% of the total, with MPN holding the remaining 40%.

Since receiving an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) in 1961 off the coast of what is now Akwa Ibom State, MPN has been actively involved in the growth of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. 

Over 90 offshore platforms with about 300 producing wells are operated by the firm and its joint venture partner, NNPC, with a daily capacity of more than 550 thousand barrels of crude, condensate, and natural gas liquids (NGL).

According to the data, Mobil has drilled 843 wells in Nigeria. 12 drilling locations, 2 oil shows, 69 plugged and abandoned wells, 4 suspended gas wells, 498 suspended oil wells, 2 suspended water producing wells.

3. Agip – now a subsidiary of Eni

Since the establishment of the Nigerian Agip Oil Co. Ltd (NAOC) in 1962, Eni has maintained a presence in the nation and is currently active in the Exploration & Production industry.

Agip has run 548 wells in Nigeria. According to its original status, there are 5 drilling locations, 1 gas show, 8 plugged and abandoned gas shows, 1 oil show, 1 suspended gas injector well, 1 suspended gas-producing well, 326 suspended oil-producing well, 1 well tested with gas, 28 wells tested with oil, 6 plugged and abandoned wells tested with oil, 26 wells tested with oil and gas, and 10 plugged and abandoned wells tested with oil and gas.

4. Elf – now merged with Total 

According to data, Elf operated 526 oil wells in Nigeria. Original status data includes 15 plugged and abandoned gas shows, 2 oil shows, 2 proposed drilling locations, 16 suspended gas producing wells, 249 suspended oil producing wells, 23 suspended water injectors, and 4 suspended water producers. 

These also includes 1 well that has been tested for gas, 5 plugged and abandoned wells that have been tested for gas, 17 wells that have been tested for oil, 1 plugged and abandoned well that has been tested for oil, and 33 wells that have been tested for both oil and gas.

5. Gulf oil company -now Chevron 

Gulf has operated 505 wells in Nigeria. These includes  5 drilling locations, 48 plugged and abandoned oil wells, 3 plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells, 35 plugged and abandoned wells, 359 suspended oil wells, 3 suspended water wells, 24 oil wells, and 16 oil and gas wells totaling 505 wells listed in the original status data.


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