Atlantic Energy bounces back with efficient drilling technology



THE stage is set for the country’s foremost indigenous drilling company, Atlantic Drilling Energy Concepts Nigeria Limited, to get back on course, as it presented its plan to settle outstanding commitments to its financial and production partners to the regulatory authorities.

Atlantic, in a statement to The Guardian, claimed it has been the victim of the shark-infested industry where cut-throat competition for billions of oil dollars turn friends to foe and everyone lives by the rule that the end justifies the means.

Its Nigerian promoters had responded to the nation’s clamour for more indigenous participation in the oil industry dominated since 1937 when the first crude oil deposit was found by foreign multinationals.

Such was the excitement of the oil regulators that a few Nigerians could muster the courage to take on the foreigners that it did everything possible to make its entry into the big league successful.

Incorporated as Atlantic Drilling Energy Concept Limited on July 19, 2010, it asserted its Nigerian character when, in October 2011, it became Atlantic Drilling Energy Concepts Nigeria Limited giving it stronger muscle to execute the Strategic Alliance Agreement it signed with the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC six months earlier.

Under the agreement, Atlantic said it, “took charge of four oil blocks- OML 26 FHN, OML 30 Shoreline, OML 34 Niger-Delta Oil and OML 42 Neconde. It was to provide funds, technical services, drill and sell crude oil.

“To demonstrate seriousness, it launched a massive search for the best brains in the industry poaching the key personnel of its indigenous and foreign competitors,” it stated.

Its industry rivals , according to the statement allegedly watched, in amazement, how the young company rode through the business like a tornado connecting the big influencers with ease and converting leads to business. They believed there was one hurdle Atlantic would find difficult to scale: finance.

“But Atlantic’s goal-getting team had it all fixed. First, it secured $490 million from the First Bank and while the industry was abuzz with the feat, landed another facility of $120 million with Skye Bank.

“This enhanced capacity further strengthened the petroleum authorities’ confidence in the company. The evidence: a fresh Strategic Alliance Agreement that gave Atlantic four additional oil blocs- OML 60, OML 61, OML 62 and OML 63.

“Predictably, the fresh deals made its rivals green with envy. Their first offensive was in line with the saying: if you can’t beat them, join them. A key industry rival proposed a deal to take two of Atlantic’s eight operating licenses offering mouthwatering bucks. The transaction could not work because Atlantic, relying on market intelligence, saw through the plan to weaken its position in the sector.

“Frustrated that it could not neutralize Atlantic’s competitive advantage, industry rivals waited for the opportunity to revenge.

That chance came with the change of government and the ascension of the All Progressives Congress administration following the 2015 presidential elections,” it stated.

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