Kola Karim, the managing director of Shoreline Energy international, says the vast majority of onshore oil rigs in the Delta will be operated by Nigerian-owned companies within five years.
That means local companies would control some 400,000 barrels of oil per day.
Karim argues that his company's knowledge and understanding of the Delta would minimise problems there: "We have established the Shoreline Foundation. We go to the communities and work with Delta elders."
No campaign cash, no cooperation
The biggest local oil companies, such as Shoreline, Oando, Jide omokore's atlantic and Kola aluko's Seven Energy are mainly based in lagos and try to stay out of national politics.
Indeed, Oando is often accused – but heatedly denies – links to the opposition all Progressives Congress (APC) because of family ties between its owners and APC chief Bola Tinubu.
Femi otedola, the diesel baron who is now investing in power stations, helped President Goodluck Jonathan out during the dying days of his predecessor Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, and the two have remained extremely close.
As the drive to raise election cash gathers pace, oil companies are likely to face demands for campaign contributions, particularly from governors in the Delta and south-east, and from presidential campaigners in Abuja.
One company director said he expected to be reminded that his organisation needed cooperation in the Delta to produce oil and the message was: "No campaign cash, no cooperation." ● P.S.