Oil and gas opportunities valued at over $50bn and projected to be developed within five years were showcased by international and indigenous companies at the 2023 Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) which ended on Friday at the conference hall of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Speaking at the conclusion of the two-day fair which drew 1,086 registered participants, the executive secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote stated that the quantum of opportunities covered different segments of the industry and required proper collation as they run into billions of dollars.
He stated, “some of the opportunities are from the indigenous players, some by NNPC Ltd and the international oil companies. If you put them together, in the next five years, they would exceed $50 billion that would be invested in the Nigerian oil and gas industry”.
Listing a few of the opportunities and their values, he said: “Bonga Southwest which Shell talked about is almost about $7 billion to $8 billion. Shell also talked about Bonga North which they might take final investment decisions (FID) early next year and is almost $3 billion.”
On steps to be taken by interested service companies and other players to participate effectively in those projects and opportunities, Wabote charged such firms to prepare themselves adequately, restating that the oil and gas industry is highly technical and does not compromise safety and standards.
He added that, “If someone gives you projects he intends to execute in the next two years; Nigerian companies, having listened to the opportunities, should go back and continue to build their capacities in readiness to actively participate.”
He also counseled that the oil and gas sector is not an environment where an entrepreneur can immediately step in and achieve success. “You must have staying power to succeed,” he said.
The NCDMB helmsman promised that the Board will collate the opportunities into a compendium and make them available to registered participants. He confirmed that the Board tracks the development of the opportunities showcased at every edition of NOGOF.
Providing an update of projects shared at previous editions and hinted that “most of them have come to fruition, others are challenged by security concerns, final investment decisions (FID) challenges, bankability, and regulatory requirements and approvals. But those that have crossed the hurdles have been developed and are producing today.”
He added: “We shared Ikike and today it is almost doing 50,000 barrels per day; we shared Nigeria LNG Train 7 almost 6 years ago and today it is in full steam, hoping to be completed in 2026. We shared the upstream opportunities that will feed into Train 7, HI, HA and Obeta projects. This has been a tremendous success by NCDMB.”
On other conditions necessary for the speedy development of oil industry projects, Wabote canvassed for the eradication of policy inconsistencies. He advised other regulatory bodies in the industry to conclude the formulation and release of key regulations that will serve as subsidiary legislations of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), to give investors the necessary confidence to move ahead.
He equally challenged relevant agencies to address the worrisome security challenges, particularly the wanton crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. This will enable the production of hydrocarbons at reasonable costs and profitability, he opined. He regretted that most indigenous operators were unable to evacuate their crude oil through pipelines for over one year and are now forced to explore alternative options at high costs.
Speaking further, the NCDMB boss affirmed that Nigerian content has come of age, recalling the past when expatriates dominated major operations and events of the industry and Nigerians played second fiddle. He expressed delight that indigenous firms have become highly competitive and dominant in the service sub-sector – upstream, midstream and downstream.
The 4th edition of the fair was attended by leaders of the oil and gas industry, including the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, chief executives of several international and indigenous operating and service oil and gas companies and other stakeholders.
It featured opportunities and technical sessions in which representatives of several operating and service companies and regulatory agencies made presentations on their plans and projects, among others.