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Embark on new oil projects, FG urges IOCs

’Femi Asu

International Oil Companies operating in the country have been urged to embark on new projects despite the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, an agency in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said many local fabrication and manufacturing yards had been idle since the conclusion of the Total’s Egina deepwater project in 2018.

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, urged other IOCs to emulate Total Exploration and Production Company in sponsoring new projects and stop being deterred by the delayed passage of the PIB.

He made the call when he received the Managing Director of Total E&P, Mr Mike Sangster, at the Nigerian Content Tower, headquarters of the NCDMB in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, according to a statement issued by the board on Sunday.

He commended the MD for his emergence as the chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section, and described his appointment as deserving.

According to Wabote, Total E&P is the only IOC that has taken Final Investment Decisions and sanctioned major oil and gas projects in recent times in Nigeria despite the delayed PIB.

While expressing confidence in the determination of the National Assembly to pass the PIB after it had been delayed for over 15 years, Wabote encouraged other IOCs to forge ahead with their new projects.

He hinted 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 implored Total E&P to lend its full support to the ongoing NLNG Train 7 project.

According to Wabote, 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.

Wabote also solicited the support of the OPTS chairman towards the conclusion of the categorisation of in-country oil and gas capacities and capabilities covering engineering, fabrication yards, testing facilities and training facilities.

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.

The Total MD was quoted as saying 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.

“It has been difficult developing the project, particularly with the pandemic, but we are making progress and we appreciate the support from the NCDMB,” Sangster said.

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