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Oil & Gas: The catalyst to achieve the desired double GDP — Wabote

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By Akinyemi Precious

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engineer Simbi Wabote FNSE, FIPS has said that the oil and gas sector can serve as the catalyst that will enable the country to achieve the desired double digit GDP growth rate if we are bold and disruptive in our strategy.

He said this at his welcome address at the 4th edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF 2023) held yesterday in Bayelsa.

The Fair with the theme,Oil and Gas Industry: Catalyst and Fuel for the Industrialization of Nigeria was aimed at reflecting the pivotal role that the oil and gas industry is expected to play in driving the economic growth and development of Nigeria.

In his words, he said, “Of late, this role expected of the oil and gas industry has been dwindling due to missed opportunities as a result of policy inconsistencies, deferred decisions, and investments apathy. Just to set the context, I would like to draw your attention to the nation’s GDP growth rate between the years 2021 to 2022 as released by the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS).

“Over this period, the growth of the nation’s GDP has been marginal, but the reality is that we need to drive the growth rate to double digits for us to achieve the level of economic advancement and development that we desire.”

He made note that the NBS report revealed that the total annual contribution of oil to aggregate GDP in 2022 was 5.67 per cent compared to 7.24 per cent in 2021 and the oil sector has steadily dropped behind Agriculture, Trade, Telecommunications/ICT, and Real Estate in terms of sectors that contributed the most to Nigeria’s GDP.

“These are signs of a dying sector, and we must all join hands to stop the decline so that we can return oil and gas contribution to GDP to double digits levels similar to other major oil producing countries,” he said.

He made reference to Norway which has doubled its GDP in the last 2 years from $171.2billion to $367billion with the oil and gas sector contributing about 20 per cent followed by their hydropower.

“Although Norway is in a different clime from Nigeria, we share some similarities when we look at the huge deposits of natural resources coupled with a skilled labour force and the adoption of new technology that made Norway a prosperous country during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

“It is my belief that the oil and gas sector can serve as the catalyst that will enable us to achieve the desired double-digit GDP growth rate if we are bold and disruptive in our strategy.”

He expounded that one probable means through which double-digit GDP growth can be achieved is by harnessing the array of opportunities that exists in various categories enabled by the oil and gas industry.

In the aspect of creating opportunities, the NOGICD Act sets the minimum targets in 278 services across oil and gas value chain in the Schedule.

“I have always referred to the Schedule of the NOGICD Act as a compendium of opportunities waiting for any serious investor to tap into. The schedule lists out the various activities in the oil and gas industry and sets out the desired level of Nigerian content for which any discerning investor can position himself or herself for patronage.

“We have therefore designed NOGOF with the following objectives in mind: Showcase opportunities in the Upstream, Midstream and Downstream sectors of the Petroleum Industry, Provide opportunity for foreign and local investors to build synergies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry,Provide Nigerian companies and prospective investors an opportunity to showcase their capabilities, Provide stakeholders with information on upcoming projects to enable Nigerian companies/manufacturers tailor their business development strategies and Identify high impact activities with potential for in-country value addition with a 5-year outlook to deepen the practice of Nigerian Content.”

He also mentioned five categories of opportunities which would be harnessed at NOGOF 2023 which are Policy Driven Opportunities, People Driven Opportunities, Fund Driven Opportunities, Infrastructure Driven Opportunities and Situational Opportunities and that opportunities driven by policies, guidelines, regulations, and statutes are attractive to investors as there is clarity on the framework governing their business endeavours.

“Several policies have been formulated and implemented by the Government in their quest to stimulate economic growth and development.

“For instance, in 2021, Mr President declared the Decade of Gas which among others seek to stimulate the development and utilisation of gas resources for increased domestic utilization and export towards generating more revenue for the nation.

“Other policies such as the automotive gas policy advocates for the use of CNG as an alternative fuel for vehicles and this has also created a vista of opportunities in the supply and installation of conversion kits in vehicles to enable it use of CNG.

“Several industries have also installed kits to enable their power generating plants to utilise CNG and in some cases LNG instead of diesel to manage cost.

“These policy initiatives have led to creation of several businesses and a surge in local utilisation of gas. For example, the annual consumption of LPG increased from 360,000 tonnes in 2015 to 1.4million tonnes in 2022.

“While this growth is commendable, it is instructive to note that about half of the local LPG requirement is imported. In addition, the consumption level is still far below the 4million tonnes consumption by the year 2025 as targeted by the National Gas Expansion Program (NGEP).

“The Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) is another policy that is aimed at promoting the development and utilisation of gas. It also focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with global efforts which are aimed at addressing climate change.

“The key thing to note here is that every policy, regulation, or statute holds an array of opportunities that can be harnessed and utilised to achieve significant benefits,” he continued.

The practice of Nigerian Content and the understanding of the regulatory requirements in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in general, require a professional touch.

There are huge opportunities for individuals and businesses willing develop the skill sets required to offer regulatory compliance support services to operators and service companies.

Mentioning the achievements of NCDMB, he said, “Through our Capacity Building Directorate, we have funded and engaged in numerous training activities across the country.

“Our Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualifications System (NOGIC JQS) provides a platform for various stakeholders to participate in the different types of training offered by our partners in the oil and gas industry.

“The NCDMB has been a champion for providing opportunities for youths and women in the oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors through valued training. This training provides youths — both male and female — with the requisite skill set necessary for them to participate in opportunities across different industries, especially in this technology-driven age.

“We have provided train-the-trainers programs across the country, delivered over 13 million man-hours in On-the-Job training covering sea-time for marine cadets, non-destructive testing, equipping youths in new skill sets such as GSM repair, solar power installation, and provision of entrepreneurial exposure that will ensure sustainability. With almost one million graduates, technicians, and artisans being produced every year, there is a huge need to provide Human Capacity Development programs to develop our youths and keep them engaged in productive activities.

“We have introduced and widened the options for accessing interventions even further with our $300 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund with BOI, our $50 million Nigerian Content R&D Fund, and our $50 million NOGaPS Manufacturing Fund.

“Over 70 companies have so far benefited from the intervention funds for asset acquisition, manufacturing, loan refinancing, and project financing. The forensic audit of remittances into the Nigerian Content Development Fund also opened up opportunities for 25 audit companies engaged to check the books of about 150 companies.

“I am delighted that some of the capacities and capabilities developed in the oil and gas industry have been deployed to deliver these infrastructures. I implore other service companies not to limit their focus only on opportunities within the oil and gas industry but extend it to other sectors of the economy.

“On our part, we continue to put in place some building blocks to support value retention in-country.The Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGaPS) at Odukpani in Cross River state and the one at Emeyal-1 in Bayelsa state are both at advanced stages of completion.

“The industrial parks provide opportunities in the areas of manufacturing, logistics, security, facilities management, training, catering services, occupational health services, and many others.

“With the completion and commissioning of the Nigerian Content Tower about three years ago, we have commenced the construction of the 200-room Conference Hotel next door to complement the NCDMB Conference Center wherein we are seated.

“The Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre is another complementary infrastructure that will enhance Conference Tourism in this part of the country.

“We  have also commenced the front-end design of the Brass Island Shipyard Project. We see opportunities on the need to put in place a dockyard of sufficient size to handle repair and maintenance requirements of marine vessels of various sizes including container ships, oil tankers, and LNG carriers.

“The Brass Island Shipyard project entails the development of 310m graving dock, 650m fitting out quay for LNG carriers, oil tankers, and cargo ships of up to 150,000DWT (Deadweight Tonnage). In a year, the shipyard will enable in-country maintenance and repairs of seven LNG vessels or oil tankers, 21 containers ships, 8 jack-ups, and 30 other vessels. The shipyard will further boost our national shipbuilding, maintenance, and servicing capacity thereby earning the much-needed revenue and foreign exchange for Nigeria.

“As the Lekki Deep Sea port becomes operational in addition to existing ports, Nigeria will witness more vessels coming into the nation and a facility like the Brass Island Shipyard will create a situation where the LNG tankers and other vessels can carry out maintenance and repairs here in Nigeria.

“I am delighted that we are about to see some of the efforts come to fruition such as the upcoming commissioning of the Dangote Refinery,” he noted, mentioning the expectations looked forward to.

“The Presidential Power Initiative with Siemens provides a roadmap to get us to 25,000MW stable electricity. In the gas sector, we anticipate a lot of activities in LPG, CNG, and LNG utilisation in-country underpinned by the Decade of Gas program. We also believe there will be a considerable energy mix with the renewables – especially solar energy.

“At the end of the last edition of NOGOF,  we published a Compendium of Opportunities based on the presentation of opportunities that cut across all the streams of the oil and gas industry. It is gladdening to note that some of those opportunities have since progressed beyond the identification phase to the project implementation phase and in some cases, the project has been completed. For instance, the Shell HA Gas project and the Bonga Main Life Extension project have since commenced.

“Similarly, the NAOC Brass Tank 7 Refurbishment project and the Brass Deluge system upgrade projects have also commenced and are currently both ongoing while the TotalEnergies IKIKE development project has been completed. In the midstream segment, the NLNG Train 7 project, as most of us are aware is currently ongoing as well as the AKK Pipeline project. We are happy with these success stories of how projects materialized from opportunities that were showcased at the NOGOF events.he completed.

“As the Number 1 MDA in the Ease of Doing Business, I make bold to say that the Board will continue to support ongoing projects and any new opportunities that will be identifies from this Opportunity Fair in line with our SLA.

“I therefore implore all stakeholders to count on us to support the realisation of their target opportunities. As an incurable optimist, I look forward to the oil and gas industry truly fuelling the industrialisation of our nation by the time we hold the next NOGOF event.”

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Energy

How deployment of new technologies resolved three-year delay on OB3 project — Kyari

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The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Mele Kolo Kyari has revealed how the deployment of new technologies has brought a breakthrough to the OB3 Gas pipeline project.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the OB3 pipeline River Niger Crossing operation at Aboh, Delta State, on Saturday, Kyari said the OB3 Gas pipeline is the inter-connector which links the Eastern gas pipeline network to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) in the West and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Pipeline in the North.

“The River Niger Crossing operation has been the major impediment to the completion of the strategic OB3 Gas Pipeline for over three years due to failure of the various technologies deployed to achieve the construction of the 48-inch pipe under the river bed between Ndoni in Rivers State and Aboh in Delta State,” He lamented.

He however noted that with the adoption of the Micro-Tunnelling/Direct Pipe Installation technology, the new contractors, Messrs HDD Thailand/Enikkom and Tunnelling Services Group (TSG), are making a headway with about 860meters out of the 1,800meters achieved so far.

Speaking after the inspection tour, Kyari expressed delight at the breakthrough, which signals the imminent completion of the project.

“This is a major project of monumental value to our country. What this means is that this is the only way we can deliver the gas revolution. I am very happy and convinced that, latest by the middle of August, we will complete this project. I have been assured of that by the project team,” Kyari stated.

On the significance of the project, he said, “Once completed, we will see about 2.2billion standard cubic feet of gas coming into our network. We believe that this will give our country a breathing space of demand, I am sure we can catch up with that kind of demand in the next one and half years. We are happy that this will give us the platform to unleash the gas revolution in our country.”

Also speaking on the project, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, expressed satisfaction with the pace of work at the OB3 River Niger Crossing operation, describing it as “Renewed Hope at work.”

“I was here last year and I saw the work that was going on. There was a promise that it would be completed by December last year. I took it with a doubt. But today, from what I can see, I am confident that by July or August it will be completed and it will be commissioned by the President,” the Minister stated.

On her part, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen, said she was looking forward to the completion of the project having been assured by the technical team that the right technology has been found to resolve the complex challenges of the River Niger Crossing.

“As the Minister and other speakers have said, we are looking forward to having this project deliver prosperity to Nigerians in the form of electricity and other areas,” Verheijen said.

The Managing Director of Tunnel Service Group (TSG), one of the contractors to the project, Mr. Ingo Justen, who is personally on ground to supervise the project on the request of the GCEO, expressed confidence that the current technology being applied in the execution of the project would lead to its speedy conclusion.

In a presentation earlier, the Managing Director of NNPC Gas Infrastructure Company (NGIC), Engr. Seyi Omotowa, disclosed that at the rate of progress with the new technology deployed, the River Niger Crossing operation, which is the only aspect of the OB3 Gas Pipeline Project left, will be achieved on schedule.

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Energy

Nigerian energy firm to build mega LPG Facility in Kenya

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Kenya is negotiating with a subsidiary of Nigeria’s Sahara Group Ltd. to jointly construct a 30,000-ton facility for handling and storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), according to sources familiar with the matter.

The deal involves state-owned Kenya Pipeline Co. forming a joint venture with Asharami Synergy Plc to construct a common user terminal, which will be East Africa’s largest LPG storage and bottling facility, in the port city of Mombasa, according to a Bloomberg report.

The facility, expected to take 24 months to build, will be financed by Asharami, one of the sources said, adding that the deal is anticipated to be signed by the end of July.

Kenya Pipeline Co. will provide the land for the project, located on the port side.

The project is expected to help the East African nation achieve universal access to clean cooking energy by 2030.

President William Ruto has been advocating for Kenya to become a leader in green energy in Africa.

As part of this initiative, he aims to double the current per capita usage of LPG, which stands at 7kg.

Kenya Pipeline Managing Director, Joe Sang, said that the country is also actively working to bring a private sector company on board for the new cooking-gas facility.

In a bid to enhance the LPG supply and lower fuel prices, Kenya is also negotiating with Saudi Aramco.

The discussions are focused on acquiring a floating LPG barge.

Sang said Kenya’s efforts to improve its energy infrastructure and support the President’s green energy goals.

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Energy

Shell reiterates commitment to Nigeria’s development, wins FRCN award

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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to supporting the socio-economic development of Nigeria, especially in its areas of operations in the Niger Delta.

SPDC Director and Head of Corporate Relations, Igo Weli, made the restatement in Port Harcourt on Friday at a dinner to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Treasure FM, a member of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) network.

“Our commitment stretches back to the 1950s, with a wide range of programmes supporting education, infrastructure, community electrification, and business empowerment,” Weli said.

A key highlight of the anniversary dinner was the presentation of the FRCN Award for Consistent Media Partner to Shell companies in Nigeria.

Weli, who was represented by the Shell Spokesman, Michael Adande, said, “This award serves as a strong reminder that Shell’s dedication to the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region remains a cornerstone of our presence in Nigeria.”

The award recognises Shell’s partnership with FRCN, particularly its support for the weekly live programme Canvas: Niger Delta Roundtable, which fosters crucial discussions on development issues impacting the region.

“While the award itself was unexpected, it reinforces the value of initiatives like Canvas,” Weli added. “This recognition motivates us to keep promoting development, not just in our operational areas but across the entire nation.”

Since 2017, Canvas: Niger Delta Roundtable has aired twice weekly on different radio stations in the Niger Delta with live online streaming. These broadcasts dedicate an hour to exploring topics relevant to the development of the region and its people.

The General Manager, FRCN Treasure FM Port Harcourt, Fred Onyeka Nwaulune, commended Shell’s partnership.

“Shell has been a reliable media partner, consistently educating the Niger Delta region on the importance of dialogue for development and peaceful solutions,” he said. “Their programme aligns perfectly with FRCN’s focus on sustainable development.”

He noted that through the dialogue radio programme, Shell had demonstrated a continued focus on driving progress and positive change in the Niger Delta and beyond.

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