Abuja — The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday, declared that the Nigerian oil and gas industry performed better in 2020, attributing it to collaboration among various Federal Government agencies in the sector.
According to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Sylva, who was speaking in Bayelsa, at a review meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Directors and chief executives of agencies in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as stated that the successes recorded were because the various agencies were managed by competent chief executive officers.
He also expressed optimism that more outstanding results would be recorded in the sector in 2021.
He listed some key achievements of the Nigeria petroleum industry to include the signing of the Final Investment Decision for Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Train 7 project, the commencement of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, 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, the minister stated, included the completion and commissioning of the 17-storey headquarters building of the NCDMB and commissioning of the Waltersmith modular refinery, developed with 30 percent equity from the NCDMB.
He 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.
Also speaking, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engineer Simbi Kesiye Wabote commended Sylva for instituting a review meeting for all agencies under the ministry, where they would also plan for the future of the sector.
Giving a scorecard of the NCDMB, Wabote noted that the board had delivered on several initiatives in support of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ 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.
Wabote stated that the NCDMB was supporting the goal of the Federal Government to build partnerships on gas flare commercialization programme and Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, penetration.
To this end, he noted that the NCDMB was catalysing local manufacturing of 1.2 million composite LPG cylinders per annum in Bayelsa and Lagos State.
He said: “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 three million barrels per day, the Executive Secretary confirmed that NCDMB signed Service Level Agreements, SLA, 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 $50 million Nigerian Content Research and 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 NOGICJQS 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.
“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 2,000 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, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari noted that Nigeria is currently one of the most expensive territories in the world for upstream projection, adding, however, that part of the corporation’s mandate was 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.”
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