Nigeria has the seventh-largest gas reserves in the world, so we should encourage their utilisation.

Chinedu MADUAKOH Managing Director TOPLINE

The narrative around Nigerian energy

April 3, 2023

Chinedu Maduakoh, managing director of Topline, talks to The Energy Year about the narrative surrounding the Nigerian energy industry and ways the country should solve its challenges regarding production. Topline is a pipeline and process engineering company primarily based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

How would you assess the Nigerian energy transition?
The Decade of Gas changed the scope and the narrative surrounding the Nigerian energy industry. We are seeing a higher degree of gas-related investments and policies to position Nigeria as a gas-fuelled economy. It is a natural decision because Nigeria has the seventh-largest gas reserves in the world, so we should encourage their utilisation.
The federal government is looking at investments in power, LNG and transportation to propel various industries. A major prerogative is to transfer a majority of the current gas flaring sites to the private sector to develop utilisation schemes for all flared gas.

What is Topline’s current footprint in the Nigerian energy sector?
Regarding our engineering and construction services, we are providing pipeline flushing, pigging and inspection for Shell and Chevron. We are also working in marginal fields for Frontier Oil and Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Co. for the construction of pipelines. Meanwhile, we are conducting pipeline repairs for TotalEnergies.
We are at the forefront of pipeline surveillance with the utilisation of our UAV. We are able to provide a true end-to-end solution, from flight planning and aerial imagery capture to advanced processing and propriety analytics. We enable our clients to attain cost-effectiveness outside the traditional methods of pipeline surveillance.


How should Nigeria try to solve its challenges regarding production?
The Nigerian oil and gas industry has been severely affected by pipeline vandalism and crude theft. To solve this issue, we should have continuous engagement with every stakeholder: host communities, the government and oil servicing and producing companies.
Town hall meetings and skill acquisition are non-existent and, as a result, there is no collaborative spirit in this arena. Our youth need to be trained and empowered. Our focus should be to enhance their employability. These solutions should be delivered consistently in the future if we want a strong, sustainable and beneficial impact in the long run.

What is the role of technology in Topline’s business strategy?
The energy sector is increasingly more dynamic than ever, with the demand for the best solutions expected to keep increasing. At the same time, resources have become more diverse, competition is keener and the implementation of holistic engagement methods has become crucial. The sector operates in harsh and challenging conditions, often in remote, difficult terrains with hostile elements.
To meet these challenges, companies in the sector must invest in new technologies and approaches while always looking to balance the risks and costs. Topline is keen on research and the utilisation of innovative technological advances for performing tasks and maintaining a standard of excellence at every point of execution.

What is Topline’s value proposition?
We are professionals and efficient in all our operations. We have the ability to mobilise equipment for projects on short notice; our response time is excellent. We have state-of-the-art equipment, and we ensure that every year we update our inventory based on the latest technology. Our safety app, Safe Scout, has been revamped and re-launched, which has resulted in us winning two awards from Shell. We are relentless when it comes to customer satisfaction and sustainability. We engage our customers during and after every project to ensure their expectations are adequately met. Hence, we are able to maintain a clientele base that calls on us as a trusted partner.

How is the company playing regionally?
We have a very strong presence in Ghana through the provision of an offshore pipeline inspection for the West African Gas Pipeline Company. Our ability to ensure our customers are adequately satisfied despite the odds was displayed through the project. Upon reviewing the design details of the subsea lines at the planning stage of the project, it was discovered that pig launching barrels were not included in the pipelines. To solve this issue, a prototype for a detachable underwater pig launcher was developed after a series of intense brainstorming sessions.
We are also in discussions with Zoomlion Ghana for pipeline maintenance, construction, fabrication and integrity assessment services.
In Abu Dhabi, we have an office and have grown our footprint considerably. We are working on the Abu Dhabi Refinery for the provision of a replacement and design enhancement of an 8’’ LPG pipeline (hot tap works). We are also planning for the pigging and cleaning operations to be carried out on a 16’’x 66 kilometre condensate pipeline.

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