1. Oil Drilling and Exploration-Starting with oil and gas exploration is the most risky but lucrative business in the petroleum industry. To start, you will need a large amount of capital, heavy machinery, a highly competent technical team and an approval from the government. In Nigeria, such approval is called an “Oil Prospecting License (OPL).” Companies operating at this level include Exxon Mobil, Texaco, Chevron, Conoil, etc.
2. Equipment Leasing-If you dont have large capital to venture into oil exploration, you can still make money by setting up an equipment leasing company to serve the petroleum sector specifically.
3. Petroleum Refining-Another lucrative business in the oil and gas industry is petroleum refining. It is possible to setup your own small private refinery and compete with the big players in the industry, since oil is a commodity that actually has no unique selling point. For instance, with the deregulation of the downstream sector in Nigeria, and the current upstream deregulation plus the planned subsidy removal; setting up a private refinery is the next business that will kick off in Nigeria.
4. Crude Oil Exportation
5. Fuel Importation
6. Offshore Trading-Some oil shipping tankers don’t have the permission to sail through the waterways of certain countries, so what they do is to sell of their oil at the border to a merchant whose ship have the right to enter the country. If you have the capital and logistics to buy these products offshore at a bargain, you can make some profit from the deal.
7. Oil Farm / Depot-You can also setup a tank farm and sell petroleum products to distributors and retailers. In this case, you will need to build massive tank farms or reservoirs to store your products as you will either import your own products, or source your products from the local refineries or buying from the oil tankers.
8. Fuel Haulage and Logistics-If you want to avoid the stress of getting a license and the strict compliance associated with starting an oil company, then you can purchase trucks and haul petroleum products for marketers from the depots to their desired destinations.
9. Filling Stations-You can also setup a fuel station and retail petroleum products such as PMS (Petrol Motor Spirit), AGO (Diesel), DPK (Kerosene) to domestic and commercial users.
10. Petrochemicals refining-You can start the production of petrochemicals such as Benzene, Ethylene, Ammonia, Toluene, etc.
11. Domestic DPK Retailing-Just recently, I have started seeing mini fuel stations with just a pumping machine; within some streets in Lagos and some others states. This mini fuel stations are simply retailing Kerosene to households and domestic users. If you don’t have the funds to purchase motorized pump-machines, you can start by using big barrels. But remember that you must be licensed before you can start this business.
12. Gas Wholesaling and Retailing-You can also setup a gas plant, or a wholesaling point. Or better still, you can retail domestic gas like ethane and butane, etc.
13. Petroleum Supply on Contract Basis-You can also supply AGO (Diesel) to companies that run heavy duty power generators like banks, manufacturing firms, telecom companies, etc. You can also supply aviation fuel to airlines on demand-and-supply basis.
14. Oil and Gas Consulting-Have you being employed in the oil and gas industry for a long time? Do you have the skill and experience? Do you understand the modus operandi of some specific oil businesses? Then you can become a consultant with expertise in the oil and gas industry. Your duty here is to offer advice and guidance to entrepreneurs and investors seeking to venture into the oil and gas industry. You can also help them scale the hurdles of the oil industry.
15. Oil and Gas Brokerage Services-Even if you have no money to venture into the oil and gas business, you can still profit from the industry by offering brokerage services between buyers and sellers of petroleum products.
16. Blogging-You can also start a blog profiling oil and gas companies; and keeping the stakeholders abreast with the happenings in the oil and gas sector.
17. Publish a Magazine-Just as in the case of blogging, you can start a hard cover magazine focusing on the oil and gas sector.
18. Start a TV Show production-You can also launch a TV show targeting the oil and gas sector. You can profile and interview entrepreneurs in the oil sector, review the challenges in the petroleum sector, etc.
19. Oil and Gas services-You can also start an oil and gas services company. Your company can choose to offer services such as safety, hazard control, pipeline installation, other installations, pipeline monitoring and security, etc.
20. Invest in Oil and Gas companies- Now if you lack the capital or the entrepreneurial prowess to venture into the oil and gas business, you can still make money off the industry by investing in a reputable oil and gas company with proven track record. Just ensure you do your due diligence before you invest a dime.
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