The Hydrogen Effect – 1.1

The Hydrogen Effect – 1.1

I think I have done enough editing to send this to the editor for polishing. Finished two chapters. Twenty six more to go. Will love your critical eye on what is going on here, and thanks for your contributions. I will accept your uncompromising criticism in good faith, expecting to improve on what I am doing. God bless you for saying it.






Adiele Amadi studied the data on the screen of his computer, and he whistled in surprise at what the data was saying.

The final totals presented by the computer were hard to believe; near impossible to accept, so he decided to calculate them by hand.  There must be something wrong with these figures, he told himself.

For the next two days, his fingers darted across the face of the Casio Scientific calculator as he added up columns upon columns of data and finally came up with figures that were no different from what the computer totals were.  If anything, his hand calculated figures were slightly higher than those of the computer, as a result of rounding off.

As he laid down the calculator, his face lit up over the result of the seismic and data acquisition work he had done for the smallest oil exploration and producing company in Nigeria.

The implications of this result lightened his heart; a wave of joy suffused his soul as he did an analysis of it. He decided to make an early run for it.

Based on the seismic survey and data acquisition work that his company had done for its client, Olson Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, there were large pools of crude oil deposits in North Eastern Nigeria, off the Lake Chad Basin, right in the middle of Bornu Plain.

The sizes of oil deposits were large enough to be equal to the deposits of the Niger Delta or about 70% of it.

If the find proved right, there was a long way to go to prove it right; when the crude oil of Bornu Plain was added to that of the Niger Delta, then Nigeria would become the dominant crude oil producing and exporting country in Africa. It would be the second largest producer of crude in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, after Saudi Arabia, and his client, would become the largest crude oil exploration and producing company in Nigeria, in fact Africa.

He slumped into his seat in thought as he turned his swivel chair.  His short stocky frame relaxed and excited in one breath, as the rays of the morning sun filtered into his office. He considered his next line of action.

Adiele stood up, walked to one of the large windows and stared into the landscaped office complex he had built three years ago from profits earned, while working with Olson Petroleum.  Knowing how the company worked, he made up his mind fast.

In the surrounding offices, the workers had started coming in, and he could hear the swish, swish, swish of the broom as the lady cleaned up the other offices.  The murmur of morning greetings reached him through the windows, he calculated his moves.

Fortunately, this is Tuesday.  It is the day for management meetings at Olson Petroleum, so it matched with my plans.  He thought, I will get to their offices by 9 am or there about, and first have a chat with Jim. 

Since the management meetings of Olson started at 11 am, going in early would give him time to raise Jim’s interest on the survey report, in order to be invited into it.

Having satisfied himself with the plan for the morning, he called his secretary to arrange for a light breakfast.

Breakfast consisted of Golden Morn cereal, a cup of coffee and a glass of cold water.  He picked up his bag and walked towards the door.

“Princess, I am going to Olson.  Anyone wants to see me, can come back by 3 pm.”

“Yes sir.  Good morning sir.”

“Oh yes, good morning.  See you shortly.”

“See you,”  Princess replied.

Adiele drove off on his way to see Jim Olson at Olson Petroleum in Trans Amadi Industrial Lay out.  This is the multibillion dollar industrial section of the city of Port Harcourt.  It is host to the oil industry in Nigeria.  And a playground of multi- national oil corporations.

Ultimate Survey and Seismic Nigeria Limited, Adiele’s company, was not in Trans Amadi, but was located at the Presidential Estate along Aba Road beside the Federal Secretariat complex.  It was enclosed in a fenced in property which walls rose to about six meters and topped off with a ring of aluminum wire coils.  The coils were electrified.

He rode in a new model Nissan Pathfinder.  Its interior was of white leather.  At the steering wheel was a driver of fair skin, dull brown hair and hazel eyes.

“You go to Olson petroleum.  Drive out to Aba Road and at Garrison Junction turn into Trans Amadi.  Go on straight past Mothercat and at Ordinance Junction turn left.  The second building on Ordinance Road by the left is where I am going,”  Adiele said.

“Yes sir.”

“Do you know the way?”

“Yes sir.  I have been to Olson several times,” Joseph replied.

“In that case, I am ready to go.”

The Pathfinder pulled out to Aba Road into a light traffic.

At Olson Petroleum, the security guard peered into the back seat and waved them in through the first gate.  They got to the second gate, and one of the guards walked over to take a look into the booth of the car.

He closed it and waved them through.  Joseph coasted into the parking lot and took a position as Adiele stepped into the mild sun.  He walked to the three storey building, opened the door to the short hallway and was welcome in with a blast of cool air.  A security guard at the door stood up to attend to him.

“Good morning sir.  May I help you?”the guard asked

“Yes.  I am here to see Jim,”  Adiele replied.

“Please fill out this form and we can get clearance for you,” the guard said, and as Adiele reached out to collect the form, he heard a voice:

“Mr. Amadi.  Don’t worry about the form.  Do you know Jim’s office?”  This was from a tall skinny man, with a small Afro.

“Oh yes, Fubara.  Thanks,”  Adiele replied.

“Go on in.  Jim’s secretary will help you,”  Fubara said.  His name tag said ‘Fubara O.  Security Supervisor.’

Adiele walked the length of the corridor.  He got to the third door by the left and turned in. The label on the door identified it to be “EXPLORATION AND FIELD DEVELOPMENT.”

He walked in to a desk.  A lady of about twenty nine years sat behind the desk.  She had voluptuous breast, packed high and protruding in front of her.  As she bent down to type on the computer keyboard, her red painted finger nails made clicking noises.  She was very fair and looked more like a dark tanned white person than a black. Her long black hair was braided into corn rows, tied together in a bunch by rubber band. She had a small nose on a round oriental face, which featured full lips that were painted fire red. On hearing the muffled footsteps of Adiele, she looked up.

“Good morning sir.”

“Good morning Rose.  How are you doing today?”  Adiele greeted out.

“Fine O.”

“You look real nice and foxy.”

“Thank you.  Do you need to see Jim?” she asked.

“Yes.  Is he in?”

“He is in, but does not want to be disturbed.”

“Tell him it is very important.  He will be interested in what I have to show him.”

“I will check with him, if he can see you,” she said and slowly got up. Adiele admired her slim figure. She was shaped like an hour glass.

Taking slow leisurely strides to the door next to her desk, she disappeared into the room.  Soon after that, the door opened and Rose peered out of it.  She winked at him with a ravishing smile; her lips puckered and blew him a silent kiss.

“You can go in sir, it is okay,” she said.  Adiele rose up from his seat; the smile on his face showed his embarassment, his loins were stirred.

He stepped towards her at the door to Jim’s office.  The door was held open for him, and he walked into the offices of the Head of Exploration and Field Development.

The office was a large one, sparsely and tastefully furnished.  The most noticeable thing about it was a bookshelf filled with volumes on engineering and computers.

As he walked in, he saw Jim bent over his computer keyboard.

Jim heard the muffled footsteps and waved him to a seat.

“Just give me one minute let me finish with this simulation and I will join you,” he said, preoccupied with his work and  Adiele sat down and waited while Jim tried various algorithms for the development of well simulations in various conditions and environments.

Jim was said to be an expert on computer simulations in the oil industry.  It was said that he was so good that his computer programs were sought after all over the world.  But what he developed were patented to Olson Petroleum and were not sold to other oil companies.

19 thoughts on “The Hydrogen Effect – 1.1” by dulen ogbari (@duleno)

  1. Em…okay. I liked the beginning…and then I felt as though the story drifted.

    You kept switching from present to past tense…confusing. This is the part I mean: “This is the multibillion dollar industrial section of the city of Port Harcourt. It is host to the oil industry in Nigeria. And a playground of multi- national oil corporations.”

    You dig?

    And then…punctuation. Start – stop a lot of times.

    And then…you did more of telling than showing. You dig?

    I think it needs a rewrite. My opinion.

    1. Great. Will spend more time on it. Thanks for your contribution.

  2. “…at what the data was saying” sounds some how.
    Consider, “whistled in surprise at the data”
    Or “whistled in surprise at what the data (portrays)” or… Just replace that word “saying”

    will make an interesting novel.

    1. Super. will switch things around some more.

  3. Why not just say ‘… And whistle in surprise’ remove the ‘he’. Pasive voice do not flow in most cases. Why not say ‘…figures the system chunned out’. There are too many punctuation problem. I would have preferred you use dialogue or flash back to a dialogue to explain that discovery of oil in the north. The characters speak questional English; as in ‘…anyone wants to see me…’. And many more. As Seun said, you did much of telling instead of showing.
    You’ve got a good story here. The work needs to be pruned.

    1. Alright. I must admit that your suggestions sound right on the mark. I am learning, so don’t hold back your views. thanks a whole lot.

  4. Adiele ran his eyes carefully through the data on the screen of his computer and gave out a loud whistle. The final results produced on the data by the computer were hard to believe, near impossible to accept. Again, he made another careful run through it, his head quickly filling up with thoughts of an already accomplished end as he tried to make mental calculations himself of the sums presented on the screen. He rubbed his hands hard on his head and pushed the black leather seat on which he sat closer to the computer. For a long moment, his gaze remained fixed on the computer as he worked away with figures in his head…

    Trying to do some re-write. You still have work to do.

    1. Incredible!! Gotta give it to you. This gets it into perspective.

  5. Forget the punctuation and grammar issues, that’s the least of the problems with this story. The question is: when is the darn story going to start?

    If this is the first pages of a lonnnnng story (novel), then you better catch my interest quick.

    What’s this story about? Why should I care?

    If the premise is that more oil has been found in Nigeria, the average street reader like me would say, “So what?” The fucking profits would eventually end up in some Swiss account anyway. I don’t want Nigeria to find anymore oil! The amount we’ve found so far has generally been a curse than a blessing.

    If the premise of the story is more than finding oil, then hit me with it in the first pages.

    Or is there something more to this than meets the eye? Wave it, quick. If I were a publisher, based on the first pages, would have added this to the slush pile.

    Good effort, but work on the story.

    1. There is a lot more than meets the eye. I will have to go to the drawing board then.

  6. I think the paragraphing was a bit too frequent. Some of these paragraphs could have easily been lumped together.
    I also think you tried to write as many words as you could. Don’t worry about that. Just flow with your original idea. It will make you do more of showing than telling.

  7. Ok. Waiting for the concluding part.

  8. Not too a bad start. More consistency required.

  9. Most criticisms are on point. Edit and really, go with @howyoudey…why should we care? where is the story going? I did not read anything that would really make me want to buy this novel…yet. Let us know the thrust of this story…oil? Rose? who? where?

    The final totals( The total figure/the final figure/the result/) presented by the computer were (was)hard to believe…it reads beta to me this way…

    1. ok. Will reverse the order of some of the chapters. Maybe it will work better.

  10. @Duleno,

    Regarding the point made by @howyoudey, you might want to emphasise that the find is a big deal for Adiele, because he has poured a lot of time and energy into his prospecting work, and this could make him very wealthy.

    I found the descriptions to be a bit much in some places, like this:

    A lady of about twenty nine years sat behind the desk. She had voluptuous breast, packed high and protruding in front of her. As she bent down to type on the computer keyboard, her red painted finger nails made clicking noises. She was very fair and looked more like a dark tanned white person than a black. Her long black hair was braided into corn rows, tied together in a bunch by rubber band. She had a small nose on a round oriental face, which featured full lips that were painted fire red.

    I don’t know that it’s a good idea to spend so much time describing someone who appears to be a minor character, especially because you should be spending the first few paragraphs of the novel engaging the reader, not describing every little thing.

    Also, I second @Seun-Odukoya on the start-stop nature of the prose.

    But the story is quite well-written; I’ll be looking to see what you do in later installments.

    1. Okay. Will shorten the time to minor characters. But I believe that I have created the wrong impression about the work by this first chapter. So I will have to do some switching around, by bringing in the main issues first, so the reader will know what is at stake and can identify with the issues as they brought up. Thanks a lot for your contribution. I really appreciate it.

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