By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has commended TotalEnergies for keeping faith with the Nigeria’ oil and gas industry, describing it as the only international company operating in Nigeria that has taken key financial investment decisions (FIDs) on major projects over the past 10 years.

Speaking at a recent load-out ceremony of the topsides of the Ikike Development Project at the Saipem Yard in Port Harcourt, the NCDMB boss expressed delight with TotalEnergies’ commitment to sustained investment in the gas sector, with regards to renewable energy. “It is no surprise that within the last six months, President Muhammadu Buhari has twice given audience to the global chief executive of the company, Mr. Patrick Pouyanne, and Nigeria is keen to have strategic partners like TotalEnergies to enable us realize our targets especially in consideration of the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)”, he added.

He reiterated the Board’s confidence in Total to keep its project funnel active through a robust portfolio of projects required to sustain utilization of established capacities and grow Nigerian Content as well as working collaboratively to earmark high local content commitments and targets. “As this Topsides sail to location for further work scope completions, you can be assured that NCDMB has also set out local content targets that must be met to sustain the job creation drive of the federal government”, he stated.

The executive secretary confirmed that the signed Nigerian Content Compliance Certificate provided that the hook-up engineering and tie-in services, inspections and integrity works, pre-commissioning and commissioning, and marine services would be executed with over 95% Nigerian personnel with locally owned equipment and assets.

Wabote commended Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited (SCNL) and its sub-contractors for delivering the scope on schedule regardless of challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also hailed the technical and non-technical staff that worked on the project and ensured its delivery within a fabrication yard in-country.

“Our mandate is to ensure that this is the case across all the various projects including NLNG Train-7”, said the NCDMB boss. He reassured industry stakeholders that the Board shall continue to remain its foremost partner in the development and industrialization of Nigeria.

In his speech, the chief executive officer of TotalEnergies Nigeria, Mr. Mike Sangster declared that the Ikike Field Development Project is a further commitment of TotalEnergies to Nigeria and the growth of the oil and gas sector, after the Egina Project.

He stated that aside from meeting the incremental 32,000 barrels per day, the project also aims to capitalize on lessons learnt from previous projects such as the OFON2, OML 58 Upgrade to assure a development with strategic fit for context, maximize local content at sustainable cost, simplified design, economic, and consistent progress towards first oil.

He asserted that Ikike is a testament of cooperation and teamwork of all parties, and regulators namely Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, National Petroleum Investment Services and NCDMB.

He added that the project has contributed immensely to the Nigerian Content development initiatives of the company through the construction of jacket modules, topsides, and risers in Nigerian yards, offshore campaign with vessels domiciled in Nigeria, and drilling with Nigerian companies which boosted local employment with about 3,000 direct and indirect jobs hence increasing local capacity and technical skills acquisition.

Managing director of SCNL, Mr. Walter Peviani, who spoke earlier, thanked TotalEnergies for entrusting the project in their capacity to deliver on time without Lost Time Injury (LTI) or incident amidst industry challenges and uncertainties including COVID-19.

He said that the Topsides fabricated by Sapiem in collaboration with local companies and other sub-contractors was an in-country platform designed to be fully unmanned and remotely operated, heralding the extension of innovation and technology towards the new normal in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, having remarkable opportunities in technology transfer.

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