The Business Year

Francis Oganya

NIGERIA - Energy & Mining

Francis Oganya

Country Director, Baker Hughes

Bio

Francis Oganya is Country Director for Baker Hughes, Nigeria in the sub-Saharan Africa region. He has over 29 years of industry experience spanning different geographies across the globe. Prior to his current role, he led the Baker Hughes sub-Saharan sales organization. He has also held various leadership roles in technical training and drilling services covering product management, operations management, and technical support across sub-Saharan Africa and the US. He started his career as a field engineer. Oganya holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Ibadan.

Baker Hughes builds and delivers world-class oilfield services and equipment to local, regional, and international players operating in Nigeria's oil and gas industry.

How has COVID-19 impacted your operations?

Like many others, we were impacted by the pandemic in varying ways. For instance, after COVID-19 hit, operating volume dipped; we went from 21 operating rigs in Nigeria to less than 10 in 4Q2020, and the expected consequence of inactive rigs is declining revenue. In response, we moved technical and field-based employees around and consolidated facilities to reduce our operational costs and improve efficiencies. We also implemented a flexible work-from-home arrangement starting from March 2020. Presently, we still do not have 100% occupancy in our facilities, so a large percentage of our employees are working from home. Incidentally, we partnered with various energy industry stakeholders such as the Petroleum Contractors Trade Section (PCTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry to ensure our employees and their dependents are vaccinated at designated centers. We also extended the vaccination campaign to our drivers and other contingent employees. For the immediate future, the majority of our employees will still work from home, until such a time when it is safe enough to return to our premises.

Can you tell us about your involvement in the Nigeria LNG Train 7 project, for which you were awarded the asset management aspect?

Baker Hughes is committed to the development of the Nigerian gas sector for the benefit of the country and its people. We have a long-standing partnership with Nigeria LNG (NLNG), which has seen us work on Trains 1 to 6 and the quality of our service was deemed so commendable that we were recently awarded Train 7. We are extremely proud of this achievement and are taking it on with renewed vigor, deploying our latest turbomachinery and processing technology and expertise on this project. Train 7 is a milestone for NLNG and the national gas sector, given the increased importance of the role of gas in addressing the energy deficit and Nigeria’s energy transition spectrum. We are helping to monetize the country’s huge gas reserves, through the efficient and cost-effective gas extraction and processing. Despite the general slowdown of the energy industry caused by the pandemic, we are delighted that we were able to manage the impact by increasing the number of local employees supporting the project. This deliberate measure not only addressed our immediate operational needs, but also provides more Nigerians with capabilities and technical know-how to run such complex operations.

How important is Nigeria to your global portfolio of countries?

Nigeria is widely acknowledged as Africa’s economic hub, and this status also informs the strategic importance Baker Hughes places on the country. We have a long-standing presence in Nigeria due to its critical role in the region’s energy industry—its developed market and huge reserves—and also its highly educated and talented workforce. Baker Hughes’ purpose is to take energy forward by making it safer, cleaner, and more efficient for people and the planet. In terms of how this applies in the country, our commitment to the industry is to support the delivery and production oil at lower costs using the best technology and solutions available. Nigeria is key to our operations globally, and we have the full support of our headquarters in Houston. In the energy transition plan, we see huge potential in Nigeria and the rest of sub-Saharan operations to help operators and the government in their energy efficiency, sufficiency, and commercial objectives. For instance, in our technologies, our carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) venture are an important emissions reduction technology that can be applied across the energy system. CCUS is the capture of CO2 emissions from industrial processes that are then transported from where they were produced and stored underground in geological formations. We are currently looking at industries and players that could apply this game-changing technology to help reduce their carbon footprints.

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