In line with the country’s local content policy in the oil and gas industry, major oil companies operating in the country have agreed to contribute $25 million to build a fabrication yard in Nigeria that will handle the construction of sub sea umbilical for deep offshore projects.
The fabrication yard is expected to create a total of 35,000 new jobs within the next three years, according to projection by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Ernest Nwapa.
Partners in the project include Total Exploration and Production (E&P) Nigeria Limited, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria, and Exxon Mobil Nigeria Limited.
The deep-water projects involved are Total’s Egina, Exxon Mobil’s Erha North, and Shell’s Bonga Southwest oil fields. The respective companies have recently received the federal government’s approval to proceed on the project in line with government desire to grow the country’s crude oil production.
While speaking at the just concluded 2013 edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference and exhibition in Abuja, Nwapa, who disclosed the development, said that about 20,000 tonnes of fabrication jobs for the three projects would be carried out in-country.
He explained that the three companies have agreed to contribute $25 million to build the fabrication yard in Nigeria that will handle construction of subsea umbilical for the deep offshore projects. Giving details of the project, he said that Shell Bonga Southwest project would create 30,000 new jobs, while Egina and Erha North field projects would together create 5,000 new jobs.
Nwapa stated that the project would create jobs for trained Nigerians as well as hands-on experience.
“It is going to create opportunities for people we are training to get work; we have done it right because these guys that had been trained in the last three years are now going to be used as the project begins to roll out because a lot of platforms will be built in Nigeria.
“Over one million manner of engineering works will be done in Nigeria between now and 2015 and over 12,000 tonnes of fabrication will be done in-country as well as the marine vessels that will support the projects,” Nwapa said.
He explained that creation of new jobs in the industry was the only way to solve the problem of unemployment, and added, “when we create new work, we create new employments and we have to manage the expectations because it is when we create shop-floors that there will be opportunities for people to work and these opportunities will take time as we are rolling out the new projects like the Egina project that has just been rolled out,” Nwapa added.
Meanwhile, Total was awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Award by organisers of the 2013 NOG. Speaking on the award, the company’s manager, External Communications, Charles Ebereonwu, said the award would spur the company to do more in the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
The NLNG also won the 2012 company of the year award, while Marine Platform Ltd, an indigenous company won the Nigerian content award.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, described the award as the climax of the 2013 NOG conference, adding that the NNPC would continue to promote indigenous participation in the sector in line with the Nigerian Content law.