By Sunday Elom

As part of effort to further advance Nigeria’s oil and gas industry as one of the Africa’s largest oil producing country, the UTM Offshore has signed a $2 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) aimed for the development of the country’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project.

According to the principal consultant for the FLNG project, Yahuza Kassim, who disclosed this is a statement on Wednesday December 8, 2021, the MoU was signed on Tuesday December 7, 2021 in Abuja, the Nigeria capital by the group managing director of UTM Offshore, Julius Rone and the President/Chairman of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah.

Kassim stated that UTM Offshore started studying and conceptualizing the development of the FLNG in Nigeria in 2020.

“In February 2021, it received a license to establish from Nigeria’s former department of petroleum resources for the installation of an FLNG unit on Oil Mining Lease 104.

“The block is operated by the joint-venture of ExxonMobil (operator, with 40% equity) and the NNPC, with 60% equity in the offshore Yoho Field. Preparations for the project are now in full swing with the benefit of a robust global and technical expertise.

“The pre-Front End Engineering Design contract was awarded to JGC Corporation of Japan in May and completed in October,” News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Kassim as stating.

It could be recalled that UTM Offshore appointed a United States of America-based engineering company, KBR as Owners Engineer in May this year. Also, a Rotterdam-based global energy and commodities trader, Vitol joined the LNG consortium as off-taker.

Quoting the UTM Offshore boss, Kassim stated that the FLNG project which will be the first of such project developed by Africa’s indigenous company “Will significantly contribute to the Nigerian government’s agenda of reducing gas flares.”

Rone added that “As Africa’s FLNG industry grows, UTM Offshore is well-positioned to offer attractive project economics by developing shallow water gas reserves, while bringing significant environmental benefits to our industry as a whole.

“The project notably involves the development and financing of a 1.2m tons per annum FLNG facility with a capacity to process 176 mmscfd of natural gas and condensate.

“The unit would target the processing of associated gas currently flared to cut carbon emissions and monetize additional reserves for domestic and global markets.”

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