Making Headway Through Hard work In Petroleum Industry

Jaylen Brown Stars


Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, Lawyer, Philanthropist, and Nationalist is the chairman of Platform Petroleum.
On the sidelines of the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference(OTC), in Houston Texas, USA, Lulu-Briggs shared his experience on his early days and foray into the oil and gas industry, his challenges, and success story of growing a small indigenous oil company into a household name in Exploration and Production.


After earning a Law degree from Ahmadu Bello University and a Master’s from the University of London, he attended law school in Nigeria and briefly practiced law in Lagos. Drawn to politics, he moved to Port Harcourt, where he tried local politics and ran a pub, displeasing his father. To satisfy his parent, he co-founded a law firm.

Later, his father encouraged him to join his oil business, despite his lack of experience. He was initially interviewed for a legal adviser role but was appointed General Manager instead. Recognising unfavorable agreements with its foreign partners, he sought advice from Austin Avuru, who became a key advisor.
Avuru’s expertise led him to establish Platform Petroleum, gathering a team of experienced Nigerian professionals. It started with His Royal Highness Edmund Daukoru as the first chairman and Prof. Sylvester Adegoke as Vice Chairman, then, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs came onboard just as a shareholder.

However, in 2011/2012, he became chairman, a position he held till date.

Leverage Strategic Partnership To Excel

On how he succeeded in the petroleum industry, he said, strategic partnerships and renegotiated agreements helped his firm thrives. “We began with minimal resources but secured investments and funding through innovative financial strategies. By 2007, we commenced oil production, achieving significant success from our small field.

“My collaboration with Avuru was pivotal, transforming our company into a strong indigenous player in Nigeria’s oil industry. That is how I got into the oil and gas industry which I had no prior knowledge on. This journey, though initially reluctant, became deeply fulfilling and impactful.

“Our relationship with New Cross was a game changer and quite mutually beneficial. Having JV partners like New Cross makes operations smoother for marginal field operators. With 100 per cent collaboration and transparency, we quickly earned New Cross’s confidence, leading to minimal questioning from them.

We worked together on many projects, including setting up the Ase River crude evacuation pipeline, a crucial 24-kilometer infrastructure to the Brass Terminal. We proposed a 50/50 JV with New Cross, diverging from the typical 60/40 arrangement, and successfully built the pipeline, benefiting our cluster partners and generating additional revenue through tariffs,” he pointed out.
Its partnership with New Cross extends to both upstream and midstream ventures, including PNG Gas

Limited, a significant LPG player in Nigeria, producing 30,000 tons of LPG and 30,000 million standard cubic feet of gas.

This collaboration, he stressed, has been incredibly rewarding, marked by open, meaningful conversations and mutual understanding, ensuring its always move in the same direction without conflict.

Tips To Succeed In Business

To him, “We were the smallest in 2004 but we were the first to bring our field on-stream and we have been producing that small asset. We have increased our oil production from 2,000 to over 3,000 barrels. Today, we have been able to extract at least some 12.3 million barrels and 118 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas from that small asset and we are still on. We aim for 10,000 barrels, having expanded into three additional marginal fields.”

From the start, he said, the company decided to run Platform as a family, treating everyone with importance and fostering a highly motivated workforce, adding that, “we address issues affecting our staff, ensuring their welfare, and maintaining a supportive environment. This familial spirit extends to all stakeholders and communities, with a commitment to exceeding expectations in community spending. Our journey has been both rewarding and challenging.”

Prospects and Opportunities

Leveraging on opportunities, he said, the firm aims to bring all marginal fields into production by 2025, targeting 10,000 barrels of oil and at least 50 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.

To mitigate the volatility of the oil and gas industry, he said, the company has diversified into non-E&P ventures. “As a small company, price fluctuations can significantly impact us unlike larger players like Seplat. So, we have invested in real estate, building a 19-story Towers, and expanded into logistics and leasing. We are involved across the entire value chain; upstream, midstream, and downstream, operating service stations in Lagos, Warri, and Port Harcourt, and exploring refining opportunities.

“Despite our size, we have achieved significant success and efficiency, proving that a small company can accomplish big things effectively,” he emphasised.

Saying his company is very ambitious to become a tier-1 company like the IOCs or a tier-2 company like Seplat, he said: “Interestingly, Seplat originated from Maurel and Prom, Shebah Petroleum, and Platform. We capitalized on the first divestment, and today, Seplat is a major player. This demonstrates that Platform can also grow significantly.

“We have planned a roadshow in London this June 2024 to explore opportunities arising from various divestments. Although, we were unsuccessful in the 2020 marginal field rounds, our contributions to the industry are substantial. We have three fields set to start production by 2025. We funded these projects, provided expertise, and identified promising assets. Successfully bringing these fields to production will boost national output and validate our efforts.”

Emphasising Nigeria’s vast opportunities and actively bring investors to showcase the country’s potential, he said, the current government is proactive, understanding the need for economic growth even as Platform is prepared to leverage every opportunity in the oil and gas industry to contribute to this expansion.

On sponsorship of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), he said: “With the shift from fossil fuels and the IOCs divesting from onshore assets, it is crucial to promote Nigeria as a significant market. Partnering the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) at OTC is key to attracting investment. To grow platform, we need investor confidence and funding. While we support net zero gas flaring, we emphasise Nigeria’s energy needs and our unique perspective to the global community. This approach can open financial opportunities.”

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