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The formation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in 1977 was an offshoot of different developments in the country's oil industry. The evolution of the corporation no doubt was after the first commercial oil find was made in 1956 by Shell in Oloibiri, present day Bayelsa State. This was after about half a century of exploration activities in the Southwestern Nigeria were the explorers made numerous bitumen seepage finds.

Official Web Site of Centre for Petroleum Information - NNPC

The success of Shell in the Niger Delta attracted other companies including Mobil, Texaco, Gulf (now Chevron), Agip, Esso and Safrap (now Elf) into the country to take concessions that had been relinquished by Shell. In 1963, the first offshore finds , were made by Gulf (Okan-1), Mobil (Ata-1) and Texaco (Kulama-1). Since then, the Nigerian oil industry has gone through rapid expansion notwithstanding the disruptive effects of the civil war between 1967 and 1970 and, of course, .the recent community problems which have disrupted several operations.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources played mainly regulatory roles in the industry then. Today, government participation stands at 55 percent in Shell and 60 percent in Chevron, Mobil, Agip, Elf, and Texaco. In 1971, shortly before the country joined the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as its tenth and the lost member (Ecuador and Gabon which joined the organisation after Nigeria, withdrew in 1993 and 1995 respectively), the Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC) was established as an organ for exercising control over the industry which was dominated by multinationals.

The corporation also provided a platform for Government to take up participating interest in the operations of the companies starting with 331/3% in Agip based on a 1965 agreement which allowed Government interest in the company in the event of a successful exploration effort. Other acquisitions were to follow and by 1974, the acquisition had covered all the operating companies with the percentage of Government interest increased to 600 percent thus giving birth to the Joint Venture relationship between Government and the major oil producing companies, a relationship which subsists till today.

NNPC was formed through the merger of the then NNOC and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in April 1, 1977. The Corporation was given powers and operational interests in refining, Petrochemicals and product transportation as well as marketing. This was in addition to its exploration and production. Activities carried out mainly offshore Niger Delta by its forerunner the NNOC. Between 1978 and 1989, NNPC constructed refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt and took over the 35,000 barrel Shell Refinery established in Port Harcourt in 1965. In addition, the Corporal constructed several kilometers of Oil and Gas reserve base. Oil exploration, which has progressively moved offshore Niger Delta, was further extended into frontier areas including the deep-offshore and the inland basins of Anambra, Benin (Dahomey) and Benue where acreages were allocated to several multinationals after signing a Production Sharing Contract with NNPC. The same year, a reinvigorated Indigenous Operatorship programme was introduced through the allocation of blocks to indigenous companies, who presently operate on sole risk basis. Currently, NNPC employs over 16,000 people nationwide.

The new NNPC group comprises the Group Managing Director's office, six Directorates namely, Refineries & Petrochemicals; Commercial & Investment; Engineering & Technology; Exploration & Production; Finance & Accounts and Corporate Services. Each of the Directorates is headed by a Group Executive Director. Its ten subsidiary companies, two partly owned subsidiaries and 19 associated companies manage the upstream and downstream activities of NNPC. Also, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) in the Exploration and Production Directorate monitors and supervises Government investments in the Joint Venture, Production Sharing Contracts and other contract agreements in the upstream sector of the industry. NAPIMS in addition markets the Federation's accruable crude and engages in direct exploration services.
The Corporation has the following wholly-owned subsidiary companies:

  • Duke Oil Limited
  • Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited (EPCL)
  • Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL)
  • Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited (KRPC)
  • National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO)
  • Nigerian Gas Company Limited (NGC)
  • Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC)
  • Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC)
  • Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited (PHRC)
  • Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited (WRPC)


  • Calson (Bermuda) Limited
  • Hydro-Carbon Services of Nigeria Limited (HYSON)


  • ACM Nigeria Limited
  • Baker Nigeria Limited
  • Baroid Drilling and Chemical Products Nigeria Limited
  • Baroid Nigeria Limited
  • Dowell Schlumberger Nigeria Limited
  • National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria
  • Nigeria NLNG Limited
  • Nigermed Petroleum S.A.
  • Schlumberger Testing and Production Nig. Ltd.
  • Sedco Forex of Nigeria Limited
  • Solus Schall Nigeria Limited
  • Stallion Properties Development Company Limited
For More Details Visit: www.nnpc-nigeria.com

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