By Chesa Chesa
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, has charged International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country to invest in new projects.
This is despite uncertainties created in the oil and gas industry by the delays in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The Board in a statement on Sunday said Wabote gave the charge when the Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Company (Total E&P), Mr. Mike Sangster visited him in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He commended Total E&P for investing in new projects in the past few years.
He congratulated Mr. Sangster on his emergence as the chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section, (OPTS, an the umbrella body of major oil producers), adding that his appointment was deserving because Total E&P was the only international oil company operating in Nigeria that had taken Final Investment Decisions and sanctioned major oil and gas projects in recent times.
Wabote who expressed confidence that the PIB would be passed by the 9th National Assembly, after over 15 years delay, encouraged other IOCs to forge ahead with their new projects.
He explained that new projects were needed to grow local content and create work opportunities for local fabrication and manufacturing yards, many of which have been idle since the conclusion of the Total’s Egina deep water project in 2018.
He also charged Total E&P to lend its full support to the ongoing NLNG Train 7 project, adding that the project held great prospects for the local oil and gas industry and host communities.
He pointed out that the Egina Project remains “the benchmark of upstream project delivery considering its record-breaking performance in local content practice in the oil and gas industry.The project served as a veritable tool to raise the bar in the development of our in-country capacities and capabilities.”
He added that “the Board is also happy with Total E&P on the implementation of the ‘Adopt a Faculty’ and the various actions it had taken on the programme.
Wabote also solicited the support of the chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section towards the conclusion of the categorization of in-country oil and gas capacities and capabilities, covering engineering, fabrication yards, testing facilities and training facilities.
He also sought collaboration with OPTS is in the study for local gaskets manufacturing: study, to determine what it will take to produce all the gasket requirements in-country.
He also asked OPTS companies to provide feedstock for newly established modular refineries to increase value addition, local refining, demotivate illegal refiners and stealing of crude.
Earlier, Mr. Sangster disclosed that the company has operated in Nigeria for 60 years and is the only IOC that operates in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
He indicated that the company developed the last three Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platforms in Nigeria and Egina created new records, one of which is recording 40 million man hours in-country.
He also reported that the company had made significant progress with the development of the Ikike Oil Field and would record first oil before the end of 2021.
He admitted that “it had been difficult developing the project, particularly with the pandemic, but we are making progress and we appreciate the support from the NCDMB.”