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19+ Oil and Gas Small Business ideas

What is the best business to start in the oil and gas sector? Are you interested in doing business in the petroleum sector but you don’t know how to go about it?

Do you want to join the league of oil and gas merchants but you don’t have the capital to pursue that dream? Then read on as I expose some business opportunities in the oil and gas sector you can start today with little or no money.

The oil and gas industry is perhaps the most strictly regulated sector, yet; it remains probably the most profitable and risky. In fact, crude oil or petroleum and its derivatives are essential commodities that are consumed on daily basis.

Despite the massive agitation for the adoption of alternative renewable energy resources, oil still remains the number one because 99.99% of all vehicles and machines use either PMS (Petrol) or AGO (Diesel). So the demand for petroleum products is not going anywhere in the nearest future because it will take decades before the concept of renewable energy will fully be accepted.

Now running a business in the oil and gas is a very lucrative venture, many have become millionaires and few went on to become billionaires as oil and gas (Black Gold) merchants. Below are some people who made their wealth in the oil and gas industry.

List of Oil and Gas Billionaires

  • John D. Rockefeller  –  Standard Oil
  • J. Paul Getty  –  Getty Oil
  • Harold Hamm  –  Continental Resources
  • Dhirubhai Ambani, the father of Mukesh Ambani  –  Reliance industries
  • George Mitchell  –  Mitchell Energy
  • T. Boone Pickens
  • George Kaiser
  • Vagit Alekperov  –  Lukoil
  • Eike Batista  –  OGX Oil and Gas
  • Mike Adenuga  –  Continental Oil and Gas
  • Folorunsho Alakija  –  Famfa Oil Ltd
  • Femi Otedola  –  Forte Oil
  • Roman Abramovich

You can also check out the list of richest school drop out billionaires. Now I believe that the list above will serve as a source of inspiration to you that there is money in the oil and gas sector. You don’t need to be resident in an oil producing state like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United states, etc to cash in on this opportunity.

You don’t also need to be rich to be an oil merchant, as there are several lucrative low startup capital services within the oil and gas industry. All you need is the will to succeed, and the technical know-how of the business you want to venture into. So without wasting your time, below are some profitable business opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

N.B: I want to repeat what I said earlier that the oil and gas industry is a strictly regulated industry, so you might be faced with challenges of getting licensed or accreditation. For instance, to become an oil dealer or service provider in Nigeria, you will have to scale the hurdles of getting licenses and approvals from NNPC, CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission), PPPRA (Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency), DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources), etc.

19+ Business ideas and Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry

1. Oil Drilling and Exploration

Venturing into oil and gas exploration is the most risky but profitable business in the petroleum sector. To venture into this field, you will need massive 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

Now if you lack the financial muscle or capacity to venture into oil exploration, you can still tap into the wealth by setting up an equipment leasing company specifically to serve the petroleum sector.

3. Petroleum Refining

Another profitable business in the oil and gas sector is petroleum refining. Now you can setup your own small private refinery and compete with the giants, since oil is a commodity that 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

Now some oil shipping tankers don’t have the right 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 financial capacity and logistics to buy these products offshore at a bargain, you can make some profits from the margin

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

Do you want to operate a business in the oil and gas sector but you want to avoid the hassles of getting a license and the strict compliance required to run an oil company? Then you can simply 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 also venture into the production of petrochemicals such as Benzene, Ethylene, Ammonia, Toluene, etc.

11. Domestic Kerosene Retailing

Just recently, I have started seeing mini fuel stations with just a pumping machine; within some streets in Lagos, Imo 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 RetailingYou 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. BloggingYou 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 related 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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