Victor Innocent Ekpenyong is the managing director and chief executive officer of Kenyon International West Africa Limited, a wholly-owned indigenous firm that has achieved giant strides in the Nigerian oil and gas industry with regards to wellhead services, sealant solution technology and OCTG services.
An indigene of Edem Idim Ibakesi from Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Epeyong attended Government Technical School, Ewet, Uyo for his technical school education, after which he proceeded to the Federal University of Technology, Owerri where he obtained a bachelor of technology degree in Project Management Technology.
He started his career as a technician trainee during which he learnt how to install and service surface well control equipment, wellhead & Xmas tree and pile driving among others. After years of working across a number of companies, he embarked on an entrepreneurial journey in 2015 with the establishment of Kenyon International West Africa Company Limited. Since establishment, the company has distinguished itself for excellent services which have given it credence with international oil companies (IOCs) as well as local companies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
“We are one of the youngest and fastest-growing companies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. We have been opportune to leverage on the local content act which has helped us in getting jobs with IOCs and other local players. In line with our core values of reliability, loyalty, dependability, passion and commitment, we have been able to bring to reality our mission which is to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations by continually improving and updating the skills and resources needed for demand-driven oil and gas services in all our operations”, he informed.
On the challenges faced in his field of operations, the alumnus of the Lagos Business School Owner Manager Programme (OMP 29) described vandalism as the biggest challenge faced in the management of wellhead & Xmas tree. According to him, anti-theft locks; ESD valves being used in an isolated location in protecting wellheads in Nigeria are obsolete and the vandals already know how to unlock them.
“Whenever these vandals carry out their acts, they don’t only hurt the companies, they also hurt the host communities as a result of spillage. The companies get to spend more money because they will need to compensate the communities and also clean up the spillage. I believe if the newer well security technology is being used in other countries are deployed, it will check to stop the activities of the vandals, so there is need to budget more for good integrity and this is where NNPC needs to come in”, he said.
He added that the integrity of suppliers of spare parts should be investigated by buyers, so as to curtail the activities of vandals. According to him, wellhead spare parts are not everyday commodities as they are usually imported, therefore if a buyer refuses to buy a part that is coming from a questionable source, the vandals will no longer be encouraged to carry out their heinous acts.
Speaking further, he stressed on the need for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which he believes would be of huge benefits to the Nigerian economy. In his words, “The local content act is the best thing to have happened to the Nigerian oil and gas industry, and this is just minute in comparison with what the Petroleum Industry Bill will bring on board.
Ekpenyong disclosed that his goal is for the company to be a one-stop-shop for wellhead supply, installation and maintenance in Nigeria. According to him, “Our long term goal is to open a factory where wellhead accessories will be manufactured to serve Nigeria and neighbouring markets. However, in the short-term, we will be opening our warehouse by the third quarter next year where everything pertaining to wellhead & Xmas, accessories will be available for our esteemed customers. We have partnership deals with some OEM’s in the US, UK and China in terms of engineering design and production of surface wellhead as well as spare parts. With this, we will be able to stock enough inventory and bridge gaps in the industry.