Research Paper 1 – Instructions
As an Intelligence Analyst in the commercial world, you would often be asked by your superiors to gather open source intelligence regarding a wide range of topics that impact your company. It would not be uncommon for you to be assigned to collect, process, and analyze information pertaining to the risks associated with travelling or doing business in a foreign country. For this assignment, your boss wants you to do a position paper on the risks associated with starting an oil production business in Nigeria. In the real world, this would be a major report comprised of 100s of pages comprised of graphs, charts, financial reports, etc., along with input from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from every section of the company, and outside consultants.
The purpose of this paper is not only to get you to apply the lessons you learned in class, but to get you to do something you most likely have not done before in school that has a real world feel to it. When conducting an analysis of a foreign nation you will naturally research the political, economic and military aspects of the nation. I would also like you to look at the 7- Major “Hazard” Categories Chart (Links to an external site.) and see what risk sub categories would most likely be relevant to this fact scenario. That means you do your best to research the issues as they apply to Nigeria.
After identifying the relevant risks from each category, research and evaluate the risks, and then put a fact-based assessment in paragraph form that is a sound approach. You do not need to make up data or create graphs and tables.
Remember, if you were receiving this report, how would you want it to look/read? If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the course Q&A discussion forum.
Research Paper 1: Fact Scenario
As the company’s new All Source Intelligence Analyst, you have been called to a meeting by your boss Thomas Landry, Vice President, Security and Risks, Aggie Energy. Mr. Landry advised you that an emergency meeting of the corporate board has been scheduled for next month to debate CEO Bum Phillip’s Nigeria Delta proposal. You have been asked to collect all relevant open source intelligence pertaining to security and the risks associated with doing business in Nigeria. He further stated that he would like for you to provide a detailed open source security assessment of this proposal and to provide your recommendations at the end of the report. The report should be between 8-10 pages. Insure that if you use any outside sources, they are appropriately cited.
Aggie Energy Incorporated is a small and aggressive oil and gas exploration company focusing its efforts on making large commercial discoveries and establishing petroleum production in low to medium risk, but high potential reward. Aggie Energy is based out of Houston, Texas and currently employs over 1000 employees with annual revenue more than $200 million. Aggie Energy is a family owned and operated business that has been in existence for over 50 years. The company has a solid reputation within the community and is known to treat its employees well. The company’s entire retirement plan is built around Aggie stock options. Aggie Energy has exclusively operated out of North America since being incorporated in 1960. The company’s CEO is Bum Phillips. Bum is approaching 90 years old and is looking to double the company’s profits to solidify his legacy and provide long term financial security for his family. The COO, Tex Schramm is concerned that Bum is getting a little careless in his later years and might be pushing the company toward a riskier business model that could have devastating consequences for the company and its employees.
During the recent quarterly corporation meeting, Bum made a presentation based on a business opportunity in Nigeria. Bum advised that he had attended an embassy function in which he was approached by a member of the current Nigerian President’s staff, advising him of an opportunity to explore, produce and move petroleum from the Nigeria Delta to one of the six petroleum terminals located on the Nigerian coast. One of these terminals is located at Port Harcourt. The Nigeria Delta region has a long and positive history of oil exploration success. Geological conditions are favorable for hydrocarbon accumulation. The aid advised that large tracts of prospective acreage can be accumulated in the Delta region for Aggie Energy. The aid advised that he would be willing to broker all necessary meetings with the current Nigerian cabinet. The initial cost for doing business would be a lump sum payment of $1 million dollars. The aid further advised that under the New Local Content Act, the Nigerian Federal Government charges a 1% local content levy on all gross revenues.
Bum proceeded to advise that oil exploration starts with a vision. Any resource exploration company relies almost entirely upon the talent and experience of its technical staff and management. Aggie Energy’s base staff of geologists, geophysicists, engineers and oilfield operations personnel has an accumulated over 1000 years of oil and gas exploration and production experience among them. Bum further stated that Nigeria is the world’s 12th largest producer of petroleum and the 8th largest exporter of petroleum. Nigeria produces over 2.5 million barrels of oil per day. Currently, the United States obtains over 20% of its petroleum from Nigeria. To date, the economic terms allow a fair and lucrative return for producers of oil and gas within the Nigerian Delta. Bum believes that within 5 years this Nigerian business proposal will double Aggie Energy’s employee base to 2000 and more than double its corporate annual revenue to close to half billion dollars.
Bum proposed that this venture be run out of Aggie Energy’s subsidiary, Texas Tea Exploration LLC. Texas Tea Exploration LLC engineers recently developed cutting edge technology in oil exploration and safety systems. The United States Department of Energy is currently negotiating with Texas Tea Exploration LLC to incorporate their safety equipment within all nuclear power plants. Since Aggie Energy faces stiff competition from other oil companies for oil and gas properties and investor dollars, to be successful, Bum believes that Texas Tea Exploration will not be able to compete with the current “big boys” in the Nigerian Delta – Royal Dutch Shell, Mobil, Chevron, and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, the state-owned oil and gas company.
To minimize this competition, Bum advised that we not attempt to compete with these major oil companies and their deep pockets, but instead Texas Tea Exploration will focus on the market opportunities in the Delta where our technical competence and experience give us an advantage in a strong market that still has high demands for both crude oil and natural gas. Since oil exploration involves a high degree of commercial and technical risk there is a continuous need for new capital. Bum understands that such a venture will require the company to tap into its equity and possibly go public on its stock offerings. Aggie Energy will try to minimize and spread this risk by joint venturing in this oil exploration. Currently most local companies in Nigeria are forming strategic alliances with foreign companies. This might result in a local company obtaining controlling interest in Texas Tea Exploration LLC.
Bum concluded the meeting by stating that Aggie Energy’s new long-term objective is to grow the company into a viable international oil and gas exploration, development, and production company. This caught the company’s officials off guard since Aggie Energy has never conducted business outside of North America.