Dapo Abiodun – Meet the Top 10 Oil Tycoons Fueling Nigeria

Dapo Abiodun is managing director/CEO, Heyden Petroleum Ltd [HPL], which he started as a small company in 2001, providing services to oil and gas operators in Nigeria. He has led the company to become one of the largest indigenous players in the downstream, midstream, and upstream oil and gas industry. The company has attained a height where it has built its own jetty and tank farm, operating with its own vessels and trucks.

HPL trades on refined white products and semi-refined black products within and outside Nigeria, using its network structure to exploit economy of scale, integration advantages and strategic partnerships. These enable the company to secure discounted procurement at prices that give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The products include automotive gas oil, premium motor spirit, bitumen, crude oil and some intermediate components.

The company has invested down the value chain and has acquired 50 retail outlets in order to establish deep roots in the downstream oil and gas sector. Apart from importation of refined petroleum products, HPL has also stepped into in the gas market. It is part of the group that acquired one of the gas producing assets from which Shell divested.

The company owns and operates a dedicated jetty that is 180 meters in length and has been dredged to 10.5 meters draft. It also has a tank farm with a combined onshore and floating storage capacity now expanded to 70,000MT for PMS, AGO and Kerosene.

Two jet fuel storage tanks of 15,000MT capacity with a separate loading gantry are also in place. The storage and efficient loading facilities – with the capacity to load 5,000MT a day, enable the company to stock up petroleum products all year round and reduce delivery lead times to the minimum.

HPL has sea-going vessels and barges that undertake marine haulage of petroleum products to its storage terminal and other third party terminals. Shipping and maritime operations are conducted through its subsidiary companies Heyden Shipping and Maritime Services, which activities and operations are designed to ensure a seamless operation of the group.

Marine haulage facilities are complemented by trucks for inland deliveries of petroleum products to clients’ locations. Operational convenience is ensured with the provision of a trailer park that can accommodate between 300 and 400 tankers/trailers at any point in time. The huge investment in facilities ensures efficient operations and avoids unnecessary demurrages, according to the company’s reports.

Abiodun has charted the company’s development strategy to focus on increasing market share and business volume through expansion of both supplies and sales network. At the supply end, he has continued to develop and strengthen supply agreements with a chain of suppliers around the globe. Strong relationships maintained with them over the years are yielding the fruits of stability in product supplies.

At the selling front, he is employing product differentiation, customer centric focus and distinctive branding to create a competitive edge in the marketplace. HPL has also established strong relationships with many customers, particularly the major petroleum retailing companies in Nigeria over the years. The company is reinforcing the strength in this area with the acquisition of 50 retail outlets across the country.

In between the supply and marketing ends are the logistical and operational processes where huge investments have gone in to build the biggest product handling capacity possible. The facilities are being optimized at every stage. The company has equally maintained a strong relationship with security agencies over the years through spot, medium and long term contracts.

Abiodun is seeing brightening prospects for the downstream petroleum sector following the government policy in deregulating the business. He said the step government has taken has encouraged operators in the sector to invest more in the downstream business.