Lagos-based Japaul Oil & Maritime Services plans to raise up to $500m in liquidity this year, and is studying potentially combining loans, bonds, stocks, or a combination of all three, in order to facilitate an expansion of its offshore business in Africa, according to Bloomberg.

Now in Nigeria, the UAE and Oman, the firm plans to buy ships and equipment to expand in “about 12 countries in Africa over the next five years,” said CEO Jegede Pau, highlighting Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana as nations with viable maritime and oil industries.

He noted that producers need help prospecting, drilling, producing and selling oil, and Japaul plans to expand in dredging, vessel chartering, equipment leasing and EPC services, adding: “There is a whole lot to be made in this industry if we have sufficient equipment.”

In terms of earnings, the company expects a rise of 10-25% this year after a 59% slump to $3m in the first nine months of 2013 as it raised short-term funds to buy assets. From 2015, the company is targeting a consistent 25% profit growth based on acquisition contributions.

Though international oil producers like Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron have been selling Nigerian oil fields in response to attacks and theft, Paul said he plans to restrict upstream business to chartering ships for now rather than buying fields itself.

The company has also started to import refined petroleum products for sale to Nigerian retail outlets, and plans to pay a dividend for 2013, the CEO said.