HH Industries Publications

Framework for Adoption of Metal Additive Manufacturing in the Oil and Gas Industry in Africa

Al-Amin Barambu Umar, Muniru M Mai and Devon Hagedorn-Hansen

The oil and gas industry in Africa is under mounting pressure to elevate operational efficiency and curb costs, even as supply chain challenges stemming from the pandemic persist. Additive manufacturing (AM) emerges as a unique solution with the potential to free segments of the industry from conventional supply chains. This study introduces a framework tailored to the distinctive challenges and opportunities of the African oil and gas sector, aiming to facilitate the effective adoption of metal AM. Considering constraints such as supply chain limitations, unstable electricity supply, remote locations, and limited manufacturing facilities, this framework intends to guide stakeholders in leveraging the transformative potential of AM technology while overcoming potential barriers. Leveraging a literature review, expert insights, and real-world scenarios, the study assesses the current state of metal AM in the oil and gas sector. The framework’s applicability is demonstrated through a case study of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, while acknowledging the specific African context. It uncovers the existing state of metal AM in Africa and identifies various facilities along with their constraints. Encompassing domains such as prototyping, customized tooling, complex component fabrication, and spare part production, the framework addresses challenges like cultural shifts, quality control, and facility sustainability. It offers key stages encompassing technology assessment, workforce training, and strategic planning to drive the transition toward additive manufacturing. The adoption of metal AM in Africa’s oil and gas sector holds the potential to significantly enhance operational efficiency and competitiveness, yet it necessitates overcoming multifaceted challenges. The proposed framework presents a strategic roadmap for harnessing this technology’s transformative potential. By embracing innovation and surmounting region-specific obstacles, Africa’s oil and gas industry can attain enhanced efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability.