Adebowale Okoro is the business development manager for First Marine and Engineering Services Limited. A qualified petroleum engineer and petroleum economist, who is passionate about attracting investment into his company’s newly acquired Ogu Base. He spoke with Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu, at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston Texas, on the numerous features of the Base. Excerpt

Can you tell us more about your company’s latest acquisition, the Ogu Base?

Ogu Base is a logistic base which First Marine and Engineering Services have acquired in Yenegoa in Bayelsa state. We actually identified that there was a gap with the oil industry with regards to offshore operations. Most of the international oil companies (IOC’s) who have acreages along Bayelsa state do not have an area from which they could launch up their operations offshore. We all realised that offshore operations are done in Deepwater, they need a place where they can stack their equipments, their pipes, they could refuel, they could stay behind if they need to have a crew change and all those things and they could store their equipments like containers, their mud processing units, their mud filtration units and everything. We do realise that there was a very big need for that so we actually decided that, we would acquire Ogu Base and use it for that purpose. So, International Oil companies that have acreages offshore, who would want to launch operations offshore and looking for a place to store equipments and all what not can make use of the base at a low charge and then we able to further their operations offshore. There are other Bases that exist around Port Harcourt and Lagos and it has been a cumbersome process for them and actually far much more expensive, even almost about ten times much more expensive from our own estimations to have their own bases at those areas and then move their things. So you can imagine people moving things all the way from Port Harcourt offshore Bayelsa, so that is the reason and the concept behind

Could you give us a hint on the general features of the Ogu Base?

Ogu Base had generally a total land mass of about 800,000sqms; we have only been able to have development in about 300,000sqms. We have an office space of 750sqms, we have a camp and canteen area of up to 500sqms, we have a storage workshop area of about 10,000sqms, a fabrication workshop both heavy duty and light duty fabrications of 83,750sqms. We also have a jetty which has a capacity of 3,000tons and a ramp capacity of about 2,000tons. The fundamental thing about the Base is that it is along the Birogo River which leads straight to the Escravos terminal; so it makes it a lot easier even when you want to move things out and when you want to move things back into the country or into interland for upstream operations.

Is it ongoing?

It is currently ongoing, we have developed it at the first stage; we actually set up a set of minimum requirements which we feel should be met before any operations commence and it is a good thing to say that AGIP has actually signified its intention to make use of the Base, we expect that the base will be commissioned by July this year 2018 and they will start their operations, launching their operations from there. The basic requirements which we have for the base is that this base will operate only in the daylight, in the night time it will operate on call off, emergency or special movement purposes. We have been able to develop areas for the stacking of drilling pipes, we have a storage covering area of about 500sqms, and we have storage tank capacity for diesel and we all know that diesel of one of the fundamental fuel which we make use of in the oil industry for 192,000litres. We have storage tank capacity for PMS of 34,000litres. We have a 70-80 tonnes crane available on site to lift containers and heavy duty equipments; we have a 10tonne forklift and we have also provided security. And it would be a good thing to say that our chairman has actually involved a lot of Niger Delta communities, and he has made use of his experience in trying to ameliorate all the problems which we could encounter with the communities. So basically what we are saying is that we are expecting that all other international oil companies that have acreages within the area will make use of this Base to launch their operations and ultimately increase the productivity of the Nigerian economy.

Is this Base connected to the Bayelsa Deep Sea port?

It is along the shoreline, so you have other ports; you have Escravos terminals and you have all the other ports along the shoreline to the river. So from the Bayelsa seaport you can always come in to Ogu base, from the Escravos terminal you can come in to Ogu Base, from Port Harcourt you can come in to Ogu base via the riverine. We also have the landed area which we could also make use of haulage trucks to come in but the landed area hasn’t been consolidated yet and that we would do as we get along with the project. So we can also expand, we also have enough room for expansion. If you want us to build a custom facility for your own company specifically we would be willing to do that for you.

Looking at the low level of activities in the oil and gas industry at the moment?

Well, we wouldn’t say there is a low level of activities in the oil and gas industry, what we would say is that the dynamics of the oil and gas industry is basically regulated by the oil price. Right now when oil prices is beginning to go higher slightly currently between about 72-75 dollars per barrel, you will find out that a lot of companies are beginning to look at their doing operations, who have hickrages within Bayelsa state. So definitely if they have an area that can reduce their operational cost and improve their profitability they would obviously be very willing to go offshore and Ogu Base provides that.

How much has your company invested in the Base?

Well, I wouldn’t want to say that at this point in time, as we get along we will make our financial records known to you.
So what is your impression of this year’s OTC and is it your first appearance?
This is not our first showing at the OTC. Our impression of this year’s OTC is that it has been a good event; we have been able to reach out to a lot of Oil companies both the International Oil Companies at our LOC which is the local oil companies which we happen to be one of. And we hope to say that we shall continue with this process because it furthers interactions between colleagues and between people of like minds also. I personally I would say that I have met my own other colleagues in the other sections of the industry and this means we have been able to share notes and see exactly what each person is doing and how we intend to develop our industry.

How about the number of interest in this year’s OTC, did you have a lot of people indicating interest for your base?

Yes, a lot of people have signified interest but we hope to see them actually sending us emails and telling us exactly how that they want to make use of our Base.

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