Sylva Commends Petroleum Ministry’s Performance in 2020
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has applauded the performance of the Ministry and its agencies over the past 12 months, stating that they delivered creditably on their respective mandates, despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister spoke recently at the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a review meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Directors and chief executives of agencies in the ministry.
He listed some key achievements of the sector to include the signing of the Final Investment Decision for NLNG Train 7 project, the commencement of the AKK pipeline project championed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and implementation of the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry among others.
Other notable accomplishments include the completion and commissioning of the 17-storey headquarters building of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and commissioning of the Waltersmith modular refinery, developed with 30 percent equity from the NCDMB.
Sylva explained that the sector recorded sterling achievements because the various agencies were managed by competent chief executives and they collaborated effectively among themselves.
He expressed optimism that more outstanding results would be recorded in the sector in 2021.
Speaking on the choice of Bayelsa State as the host of the meeting, the Minister stated that several oil industry related activities will be moved to the state because of the imposing Nigerian Content Tower and adjoining 1000-seater conference facility.
He said NCDMB would also catalyse other infrastructural developments to attract and support oil and gas operations and management in the state.
In his presentation, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote commended the Minister for instituting a review meeting for all agencies under the ministry, where they would also plan for the future of the sector.
He stated that NCDMB had delivered on several initiatives in support of the Ministry of Petroleum’s priorities, one of them being the launch of the NOGTECH Hackathon and Science Technology Innovation Challenge (STIC) as a strategy of developing innovation to address pilferage, sabotage and losses of petroleum products.
On the Ministry’s goal to build Partnerships on Flare Commercialization Programme and LPG Penetration, Wabote said the Board was catalysing local manufacturing of 1.2 million composite LPG cylinders per annum in Bayelsa and Lagos State. The Board is also supporting flare-out projects through Duport Midstream Company’s 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) gas gathering hub in Edo and NEDO 110MMscfd gas processing project in Delta State. The Board is also supporting the establishment of LPG storage/filling plants in five states and as well as LPG distribution depots in six states.
On the Ministry’s target to increase crude oil production to 3 million barrels per day, the Executive Secretary confirmed that NCDMB signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the Oil Producers Trade Section, Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) and Nigeria LNG as a strategy of fast tracking projects approvals and ease of doing business. He added that the NCDMB earlier in the year launched the US$50m Nigerian Content Research & Development Fund and Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre in support of enhanced oil recovery.
On the goal of Supporting and Enhancing Cost Reduction, Wabote said NCDMB automated its business process and upgraded its NOGOCJQS and initiated collaborative interfaces with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Customs and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Towards increasing domestic refining capacity, NCDMB has so far enabled a combined capacity of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) modular refining capacity through its investments in Waltermith in Imo, Azikel Refinery in Bayelsa and Duport in Edo States, with other proposals under review.
The Executive Secretary also confirmed that NCDMB is also working to achieve the Ministry’s target on job creation and poverty alleviation. On that plane, the Board is currently developing three oil and gas parks for manufacturing of oil and gas components, with each expected to create 2000 jobs opportunities at full operation.
He added that the Board also increased the size of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) from US$200m to US$350m, with additional products on Working Capital and Business Support for Women in Oil & Gas.
Other initiatives included the Board’s Human Capacity Development programmes to increase employability and incubate entrepreneurs, interventions in vocational education, ICT laboratory among others.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari noted that Nigeria is one of the most expensive territories in the world for upstream projection and part of the corporation’s mandate is to reduce cost by at least five percent.
He said: “We have reduced costs substantially and there are a number of interventions. We have set a target for the industry and our partners to bring down the cost of production to at least $10 to a barrel.”