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H.E. Dr. Timipre Sylva

Is 2020 really the Year of Gas for Nigeria?

London, 19 June 2020 – The Honourable Minister for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Timipre Sylva, declared 2020 as the Year of Gas for Nigeria. The year started off with plans to harness Nigeria’s gas by tackling some of the barriers including the passing a regulatory framework for the upstream sector and the launch of the Nigerian Gas Transportation Code to further drive gas-based industrialisation.

As March approached, the industry experienced a sharp drop in oil price at $24.63 Brent and then to $16.95 Brent in April. Covid-19 had impacted lives and business in unprecedented measure. Many plans were put on hold and a new global mantra of cost cutting for survival emerged.

The news of Nigeria LNG awarding a $4 billion EPC contract for the Train 7 project to Saipem, in a joint venture with Daewoo E&C Co. Ltd. and Chiyoda Corp., was highly welcomed as is any news of the progression of plans to further develop the industry, and therefore world economies. The awarding of the contract signified a key milestone in the advancement of the project and sparks plenty of optimism for Nigeria amidst a global pandemic.

Once operational, Train 7 will add around 4.2 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of capacity to the Bonny Island facility, along with expansion plans, taking the total to around 30 mtpa. This moves Nigeria’s global position to the 3rd largest exporter of LNG.

Tony Attah, MD & CEO of Nigeria LNG, speaking on the EPC contract during the dmge Africa Energy Series: Spotlight Interview stated that:

“The FID for Train 7 & award of its EPC contract is… very reassuring as it renews our hope that Nigeria LNG will maintain a significant market share in the global gas market and will continue to reap the potential benefits in the market.”

When asked about the role of gas in the energy transition, Mr Attah commented that;

“Whilst a quick switch to renewables and other cleaner energy sources is desirable, current data indicates that the practical reality is that it cannot be achieved on a global scale as quickly as many parties are pushing for. We must therefore find a way to bridge the gap between where we are today, and where we desire to be. This is the role that gas is expected to play in the medium and long-term.”

In addition to increasing Nigeria’s presence in the global LNG market, opportunities to harness the gas for domestic consumption have long been discussed by industry stakeholders. Barriers to contend with includes gas pricing for the domestic market, limited infrastructure for distribution and a commercially viable market.

Mr Attah highlighted the vast opportunities availed by Nigeria’s huge gas reserves in comparison to crude and highlighted the various opportunities the Train 7 project will offer the country.

“We have proven 200 tcf of gas and we have another 600 tcf that we know about but need to prove under the SEC rules. Today as number 9 in the world in terms of gas reserves, if you prove the 600, you go straight away to number 4 ahead of Turkmenistan. For me, that is a major, major opportunity to really jumpstart the sector…. A lot depends on the fiscals and how the government is able to incentivise gas development, which must happen.”

In addition to increasing Nigeria’s footprint in the Global LNG market through the execution of Train 7, Nigerian LNG also has plans to take advantage of opportunities to develop a domestic gas market and spur gas-based industrialisation. Similar to what has been achieved in developing a domestic LPG market, Mr Attah confirmed the organisations intentions to extend efforts to develop a domestic LNG market.

“We are currently looking at bringing LNG in-country… With the global market dwindling, we see very high demand for gas and other forms of energy in Nigeria and in deed in Africa. As you know, more than 50% of the population that does not have access to energy in the world is in Africa. So, the domestic LNG project that we are looking at is to be piloted in Nigeria and then we will go regional and then look at Africa as a whole.

It’s a project that’s already on. As we speak there are a few people that have already indicated interest and we are working with them to see how much capacity they are able to develop to make this real.

We have just established that the price is no longer within anybody’s forecasts, view or control, we perhaps have a future where we have to be a market maker for this to be able to have the essence of the full value chain coming to fruition in country. ”

In closing, Mr Attah’s sentiments were clear and rang in unison with the proclamation made by H.E. Timipre Sylva at the beginning of the year.

“Nigeria has ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years but now the time has come for Nigeria to fly on the wings of gas. It’s time for gas.”

Hear more about opportunities the Train 7 project will offer the country at the upcoming 20th Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition 9 -12 November 2020, Abuja, Nigeria.

– ENDS –

To watch the full live interview with Tony Attah, MD & CEO, Nigeria LNG go to:


Eunisell to tackle marginal field operation challenges

A leading oil & gas production solutions companies, Eunisell, has reiterated its commitment to assisting marginal oil field owners overcome complex technical and financial challenges.

Speaking at the Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition (NOG 19) in Abuja, Eunisell’s Group Managing Director, Chika Ikenga, said this will help the government achieve its local content objectives.

He said: “We are proud to be a Silver Sponsor at NOG 19 in Abuja. Achieving the objectives of the local content programme, is a vital factor in sustaining Nigeria’s economic development and oil industry growth.

“Eunisell brings in its own assets and resources to help achieve early cash flow and accelerate the marginal oil fields’ development. Our track record speaks for itself. We are there to help build viable, Nigerian oil and gas businesses.”

Ikenga noted that “The marginal field development programme and the recent divestments of fields by IOC’s have increased the participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry. The gap in technical and financial resources that have fallen out of recent developments is being closed by Eunisell’s unique production solutions.

“The Qua Ibo field is a clear example of what we have done. Apart from building a production facility in record time with the skills of highly experienced Nigerian professionals, Eunisell’s fast track solution helped to get these fields into early cash flow.

“Similarly, Eunisell’s fast track production facilities, helped to achieve first oil in record time at OML 56 in Delta State, and the OML 46 Atala field in Bayelsa,” he added.

Eunisell, with more than 20 years’ experience, was recently certified with ISO 9001:2015, which Ikenga said underlines the services firm’s ability to deliver critical Quality Management Systems (QMS), and Processes to its customers.


UK, Norway, Pledge Support For Nigeria’s Oil, Gas Sector

The United Kingdom (UK) and the Norwegian governments yesterday pledged to support efforts that would drive growth and development in the Nigerian oil and gas sector

The two countries reiterated their commitment at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, in Abuja, yesterday with the theam ‘‘Promoting Investment collaboration in the oil and gas sector.”

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said Nigeria was its second largest partner in Africa and 95 per cent of UK’s import was from Nigeria.

“We have a very strong bilateral and strong ambition with what we are doing with Nigeria,’’ she said

He said that Britain had over 50 years’ experience in exploration and would be ready to help Nigerian and in tackling some of its problems in the sector.

She further said that for Nigeria to continue to witness positive result and growth in the sector, government must ensure transparency, sanctity of contracts, ensure a dependable judiciary sector among others.

She noted that UK will in 2020 host the African investment Forum in London and urged government and all stakeholders in the sector to participate.

‘‘The investment forum is an opportunity for anyone to showcase investments for financing because we already have an amount set aside for such support. If you don’t access it, it will be there,’’ she said.

Also, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jens-Petter Kjemprud said that President Muhammadu Buhari needs the oil sector to help tackle numerous challenges in the country. According to him, the oil sector was used to develop the Norway and by extension enhance growth and development.

He added that Norway managed it’s oil and gas sector with high transparency, true democracy and enforcement and of the rule of Law. This, he said, Nigeria should emulate adding that government must redirect its focus to renewable energy where the world is currently focusing.

Nigeria Sees $48 Billion in Energy Investments Between 2018 and 2025

Nigeria sees itself securing oil and gas investments worth $48 billion between 2018 and 2025, which is 25% of a $194 billion surge of capital anticipated to flow into Africa during the eight-year period, according to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

“The nation’s energy outlook appears very positive even amidst the difficult operating and economic headwinds across the continent,” Maikanti Baru, the outgoing group managing director of the company also known as NNPC, said at an oil and gas conference in the capital, Abuja. “For Nigeria, therefore, oil and gas remain essential building blocks for our economic growth.”

Crude output for Africa’s largest producer is currently in the region of 2.2 million to 2.3 million barrels per day, with reserves at 37.5 billion barrels, the second-biggest in Africa after Libya’s, according to Baru. Nigeria also has the ninth largest gas reserves at 201 trillion cubic feet and an estimated potential of 600 trillion cubic feet, he said.

These resources provide opportunities for investors and the government is determined to create the environment that will help drive the necessary investments in a sustainable manner, according to the state oil company. Given growing local demand for petroleum products, the NNPC has undergone a shift in its business model to focus more on domestic refining of crude.

“The recent fiscal challenge experienced by the nation places a burden for change,”Baru said. “Hence, we have undertaken to broaden the base of investment sources.”

Baru, who will officially retire from the corporation on July 7, will be succeeded by Mele Kyari, the former head of the crude-marketing division.


FG to begin clampdown on defaulting oil firms over NCDF remittances

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Monday, disclosed that from September, it would begin the clampdown of oil and gas companies operating in the country, who are defaulting in the remittance of the one per cent Nigerian Content Development Fund, NCDF.

Speaking at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, said the defaulting firms would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for investigation and prosecution. 

Wabote disclosed that this becomes necessary following the importance of the Fund and its benefits to growing indigenous content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

According to him, the NCDF had been very useful in the setting up of the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, NCIF, whereby indigenous firms had accessed up to $160 million, leaving $40 million.

He added that the NCDMB exited appropriation of the Federal Government on 2018 and had been able to drive its activities of promoting local content, the building of its headquarters complex in Bayelsa and the construction of an industrial park through the effective utilisation of the fund.

Wabote noted that the NCDMB had engaged third party monitors and would be conducting a forensic audit to identify companies not making the mandatory remittances to the NCDF.

Furthermore, the NCDMB boss stated that the board was partnering with an indigenous firm, Waltersmith Petroman in the construction of a modular refinery, while he declared that the refinery is scheduled to come on stream, May 2020.

He also stated that the NCDMB was considering refining options in the gas sector among numerous other opportunities in the sector.

Wabote added that the NCDMB is partnering with Agip Nigeria to set up a 25 megawatts power plant, to provide electricity to the industrial parks on completion and its headquarters complex, all on Bayelsa State.


NCDMB disburses $160m from Nigerian Content Intervention Fund

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on Monday revealed that it had so far disbursed $160m out of the $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to oil companies for the development of modular refineries, and capacity building, among others.

It also lambasted international oil companies operating in Nigeria for not appreciating the in-country capacities that had been developed over the years in the country’s oil and gas sector and urged the IOCs to take time and evaluate the capacities in Nigeria.

In his opening address on Nigerian Content Seminar at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, noted that when he assumed office at the board, he was always confronted with the question of how much was in the purse of the agency for local content development in Nigeria.

“When they (journalists) ask, I give them the exact figure and these days I don’t face that question anymore,” he said.

He added, “But then people also started asking, ‘what did you do with this fund?’ One, I am happy to tell you that the $200m capacity development with the Bank of Industry has actually been very successful.

“Today we probably have about $40m left because $160m has been accessed by Nigerian companies to build capacity. So I don’t worry about people asking me what are you doing with the fund.”

Wabote, however, noted that a lot of companies that benefitted from the fund were defaulting in terms of paying back what they were given.

He said, “We cannot believe that some companies are not paying but they are doing business in the oil and gas sector. These include IOCs, indigenous companies, contractors and operators. We are getting close to where we will hand them over to the authorities.

“We are almost there where when we compile how much they are supposed to have paid and how much they owe, we will give them to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission because they are the agency responsible to recover such funds. That will happen in the next one or two months.”


Oil, gas firms access $160m local content fund

John Cardinal Onaiyekan has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to defuse the tension that has arisen in the country in recent times, restore peace and security.The NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, disclosed this at the 2019 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, with the theme “Promoting Investment collaboration in the oil and gas sector,” in Abuja on Monday.

Wabote was the guest speaker at the Nigeria content seminar with the focus on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.

“Out of the 200 million dollars Nigeria local content intervention fund, 160 million dollars has been accessed by indigenous oil and gas companies in building capacity and other relevant projects in the sector.

“We have 40 million dollars left,“ he said.

He added that the fund, which was domiciled with the Bank of Industry, had helped to boost local content drive in the country.

Wabote said that it was unfortunate that some oil companies had yet to remit one percent of their projects money in the country.

He said that the board was working hard to get forensic auditors to ensure those companies were brought to book and be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“This will happen in the next one to two months, we will hand them over to the EFCC because they are the ones that have the right to collect such money,” he said.

Wabote said that the fund had helped the country to record a lot of progress in the sector as many Nigerians had been trained to fit into the available jobs in the sector.

He said that the board had supported the building of some modular refineries, which would start operating by May 2020, adding that the current focus was on gas value chain.

He added that industrial parks in Bayelsa and Calabar were almost at their completion as structures were already up.

He frowned at International Oil Companies, who were asking if Nigeria had the capacity to deal with the new businesses in the industry.

“Most companies don’t step out of their comfort zones to know what is happening because they are not interested in the development of the country they are operating and even to create jobs,” he said.

He noted that many Nigerian had got adequate capacity to handle development in the sector, especially in construction, fabrication among others.

He reiterated that the local content drive in the country had contributed positively to the oil and gas sector in the country.


NCIF Repayment Infraction: NCDMB To Hand Over Non-Compliant Companies To EFCC

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB has warned that it would hand over beneficiaries of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) who have refused to comply with the repayment terms of the NCIF to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB who on Monday revealed that $160m out the $200m intervention fund has been disbursed for the purpose of capacity building and support to indigenous businesses, however, noted that many companies that benefitted from the fund have failed to repay their loan.

Delivering the Nigerian Content Seminar opening address at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Strategic Conference and Exhibition, with the theme ‘, Promoting Investment and Collaboration in Nigeria’s oil and Gas Industry’, Wabote said that “Our major objective today is to utlise this seminar to zero-in on key provisions of the NOGICD Act to reinforce understanding, provide clarifications, and use it to serve as an additional training outlet for those that are new to the industry or ignorant of the law.”

Providing an update on the NCIF fund, the ES said, “I am happy to tell you that the $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund with the Bank of Industry has actually been very successful. Today, we probably have about $40m left because $160 billion has been accessed by Nigerian companies to build capacity.

“However, you can’t believe that some companies are not paying and they are doing business in the oil and gas industry.  They include the IOCs, indigenous companies, contractors and operators. We are getting close to where we will hand them over to the authorities. We are almost there where when we compile how much they are supposed to have paid and how much they owe, we give them to EFCC because they are the agency responsible to recover such fund. That will happen in the next one or two months, I can assure you,” Wabote said.

Speaking further, the ES noted that the Board in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI) has through the fund supported project promoters, the establishment of modular refineries and exited appropriation to become a self-funding agency of government.

“The NCDF has also enabled us to progress the construction of our new headquarters building and industrial parks, provide support for Project 100 beneficiaries, funding human capital development programmes and deliver other activities.

Calling on the industry players and stakeholders to comply with the provisions of Section of 104 of the NOGICD Act, Wabote said that a recent forensic audit carried out by the Board through independent accounting firms revealed various types of contraventions.

“We have issues of non-deduction of statutory fees, non-remittance of the amount deducted at source and misinterpretation of the provisions as contained in section 104. Let me also use this opportunity to commend those who have conscientiously complied with the provisions of section 104.

“I wish to highlight that the Board is determined to fully recover all outstanding obligations and ensure that only complying companies gain from the industry. Because when we get to that stage when we hand those companies over to the authorities, we will not entertain any approval request from any of these companies be it expatriate quota approval, contract renewal approval.

“We are gradually inching into that stage, hence, we will deploy all legal instruments in this regard including suspension of all clearances and cutting off non-compliance companies from industry tender and bidding processes.”


NCDMB wins 1st Dr Alirio Parra award at NOG 2018

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, has been conferred with the first Dr Alirio Parra Award for outstanding contributions to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The award was presented to the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote at the gala dinner held on Wednesday in Abuja to mark the end of the 2018 Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and International Exhibition.

Total Exploration and Production Company was also recognised for its sterling contributions to the growth of Local Content through the exectution of the Egina deepwater project.

CWC and Levmora Services, organisers of the NOG conference said NCDMB was chosen for the Dr Alirio Parra Award for being the most outstanding federal agency in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The Board was also feted as very innovative, introducing several initiatives that are geared towards improving the operations of the sector and developing the Nigerian economy.

Tha late Alirio Parra, former Minister of Energy and Mines, Venezuela and Senior Advisor, CWC Group Limited died on March 9, 2018, aged 90.

He also served as President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Companies, OPEC Conference and was involved with many professional activities in the international oil and gas sector.

He had insightful knowledge of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, had been visiting Nigeria for over 40 years and delivered addresses at annual NOG events.

In a similar vein, the NCDMB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CWC on the organisation of the Practical Nigerian Content, PNC, Workshop and Exhibition.

Wabote signed on behalf of the NCDMB on Monday at the first day of the NOG Conference while the Vice-President, Production, CWC, Ms. Wemimo Oyelana signed on behalf of the company.

The Executive Secretary explained that the MoU is for five years and revenues generated from hosting the annual event would be shared between the Board and CWC.

He also stated that CWC was working to be incorprated in Nigeria. The PNC Workshop was conceived by CWC and it organises the first edition in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in 2011.

Subsequent editions were held in collaboration with the NCDMB, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State between 2012 and 2015. The event was moved to Abuja in 2016 and Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in 2017.

The 2018 edition will be held at the Board’s new headquarters building, which is being completed in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.


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