AAPG President Dr. Scott W. Tinker became the fourth Association president to visit Nigeria when he attended November’s NAPE 2008 conference in Abuja, Nigeria.
The meeting was organized by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists. Tinker’s travels to Nigeria followed visits by AAPG presidents Toby Carleton (1994), Dick Bishop (1998) and Robbie Gries (2000, 2001), who visited as both president-elect and president.
Visits by Carleton, Gries and Tinker were hosted by Chevron, and Bishop’s visit was hosted by ExxonMobil.
In October Tinker had met with Africa Region leaders during the group’s leadership meeting in Cape Town, also attended by NAPE president, Kingsley Ojoh.
Tinker’s visit to the Africa Region twice in one year was seen as the “icing on the cake” in efforts to strengthen AAPG’s ties with affiliate society NAPE.
In fact, a commemorative cake for the occasion was cut by outgoing NAPE President Ojoh and incoming NAPE President Agbe-Davies. A second commemorative cake welcomed Tinker, to Nigeria.
“I could not have been welcomed more warmly,” Tinker said.
During the first of his two days at the conference Tinker met with all NAPE leadership, had lunch with university faculty and attended the awards dinner and ceremony. During a tour of the exhibit, Tinker stopped for a photo with no less than every exhibitor. The next day he participated in a meeting with students and faculty, looked at conference facilities with an eye for future AAPG-NAPE events, toured Abuja’s historical sites and was the first to initiate dancing at the Sundowner event – a lead that the students soon followed!
Tinker said the current business climate in Nigeria is favorable for the industry and for AAPG. Adding to the business climate are strong corporate interest to develop partnerships in Nigeria among U.S. and expatriate corporations such as ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron and vendors including Schlumberger and Halliburton, among many others.
The Nigerian business climate is further enhanced by a growing independent oil and gas community. A recent law requiring reinvestment in Nigerian businesses promotes growth among local Nigerian entrepreneurs.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), based in Abuja, rounds out the strong industry presence in the country.
Tinker’s personal visit to the country already has yielded a better understanding of the professional development interests of the Nigerian geoscience community. In response to the keen interest for AAPG products and services in Nigeria, AAPG Distinguished Lecturer John Kaldi, Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide, is now scheduled to tour the country during the third quarter of 2009.
Over 70 percent of AAPG Africa Region’s members are located in Nigeria.
“NAPE and its leaders represent an outstanding partner for AAPG in the Region,” Tinker said.
In fact, with leadership from current AAPG Africa Region President James Agbenorto, the Region is committed to AAPG’s increased support and involvement in the planning and operation of the NAPE 2010 conference.