Reps Summon Agency Chiefs Over Loss Of Revenue In Oil And Gas Free Zones

File photo: Mr Femi Gbajabiamila presides over a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has summoned the heads of three Federal Government agencies over the loss of billions of naira in revenue from companies operating in the oil and gas free zones, as contained in the audit queries issued by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF).

It also directed its clerk to publish the said audit queries from the office against defaulting agencies in three national dailies for the public and the President to see.

The affected agencies included the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigeria Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (NOGFZA), and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

The lawmakers had hinged their rulings on the reports submitted for legislative action by the AuGF detailing several infractions by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

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At the resumed investigation of the MDAs on Monday, the committee Chairman, Oluwole Oke, decried the attitudes of the relevant agencies which he said abdicated their statutory responsibilities of generating revenue for the government while Nigeria goes cap-in-hand for loans from foreign countries and creditors to finance the nation’s annual budgets.

He explained that the purpose of the publication was to keep Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari abreast of the sabotage of the efforts to make life better for the citizenry.

“We have invited all the regulators – the Federal Ministry of Industry, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and they are supposed to appear today,” he said. “But they are not here. All the companies listed by the regulators, some of them are here, but the regulators are not here.

“From the evidence presented by these companies, we discovered that a company’s capital allowances rose from N4 billion to N33 billion within a year and they brought the certificate here for us to see. We called the Ministry of Industry to come and confirm whether they issued the certificate or not.

“If you issued a certificate for a foreign asset, an asset acquired outside the country, at least, there will be import duty, and there will be a receipt. Ministry of Industry, did you inspect the asset before you issued a certificate of N33 billion? Those are the questions we are asking the Ministry of Industry to come and answer. They have refused to come.

“Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority collected money in dollars from licencees and refused to issue a receipt to them. All the licencees that have appeared before this panel said they were not issued receipts. Oil and gas Free Zone, come and tell Nigerians why you did not issue them receipts and where is our money? The Minister of Finance has said severally that we will continue to borrow money to finance our budget because we have revenue gaps and because we are unable to collect the revenue we should have collected.”

The lawmaker lamented that a situation where the country keeps suffering the loss of revenue through non-issuance of receipts for payments made to oil and gas free zone authority, fraudulent practices on the issuance of certificates of acceptance on capital allowances by the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was unfortunate and unacceptable.

He said, “The parliament cannot fold its hands. The difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance is very narrow. So, our ruling is that I want us to publish all the queries in three national dailies and all the regulators concerned and licencees who made allegations that they paid XYZ,” the chairman ruled.

Oke added that while the committee was not out to witch hunt anyone or agency, it has a responsibility to find out if the enabling laws were no longer active and obsolete, to enable the parliament to enact new ones to enhance performance and economic growth.

He also stated that the Director-General BER must appear in person to answer queries issued against his agency, just as he is expected to appear with the Certificate of Acceptance for Capital Allowance.

UAE Says World Still Needs To Invest Billions In Oil And Gas

In this file photo taken on October 15, 2021 smoke billows from a chimney from a plant in Lyon, south-eastern France on October 15, 2021. PHOTO: PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP

 

The UAE, one of the world’s top crude exporters, said a recent UN climate summit in Glasgow was a “success” but that the world needs to keep investing billions in oil and gas.

Nearly 200 countries at the COP26 summit pledged Saturday to speed up the fight against rising temperatures, after two weeks of negotiations.

But they failed to secure a consensus to keep coal in the ground, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that “climate catastrophe” is still knocking at the door.

The summit “was indeed a success”, said Sultan al-Jaber, the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology.

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But he forecast that the oil and gas industry would have to invest “over $600 billion every year until 2030 just to keep up with the expected demand”.

“While the world has agreed to accelerate the energy transition, it is still heavily reliant on oil and gas,” he told the opening session of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference.

“As economies bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic at the fastest rate in 50 years, demand has outpaced supply.”

Both the United Arab Emirates and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s number one oil exporter, have announced net-zero carbon goals, despite plans to ramp up oil production.

Net-zero refers to emissions created within a country, not by-products sold and consumed abroad.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other major oil producers have defended their plans to continue investing in fossil fuels.

“The future is coming, but it is not here yet,” said Jaber, whose country is set to host COP28.

“We must make progress with pragmatism. If we are to successfully transition to the energy system of tomorrow, we cannot simply unplug from the energy system of today.”

Also at the Abu Dhabi conference, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman hit back at critics questioning Riyadh’s net-zero ambitions.

“I can understand the skepticism, but I also would refer those skeptics to what we’ve agreed to just two days ago,” he said, referring to the COP26 summit.

AFP

Senate To Partner Executive In Improving Nigeria’s Oil And Gas, Says Lawmaker

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Oil and Gas (Upstream), Senator Bassey Akpan, speaks during the launch of the NNPC Upstream Cost Optimisation programme in Abuja on February 9, 2021.

 

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Oil and Gas (Upstream), Senator Bassey Akpan, has said the National Assembly will work closely with the Executive to improve Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry.

He disclosed this on Tuesday during the launch of the NNPC Upstream Cost Optimisation programme in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“I want to assure you that we will work with all of you, as well as the Executive to ensure that we leave this oil and gas far better than we met it,” he said.

“We will do everything utmost possible to ensure that we pass a bill, not just a law but a law that will be globally competitive and easy to implement and a law that will significantly drive the much desired investment into our oil and gas industry.”

Speaking on the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill, the lawmaker reiterated the commitment of the Ninth Assembly to pass the bill before 2021 ends.

READ ALSO: FG To Begin Oil Production In Northeast, Says Petroleum Minister

He said the parliament, headed by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, is committed to ensuring that the set target was achieved.

According to him, the essence of the lawmakers taking the PIB is to replace all the obsolete laws guiding the sector.

Senator Akpan also called on all stakeholders to harmonise to effectively secure the oil and gas in order to preserve the nation’s assets.

“I want to assure this gathering that this 9th Assembly headed by Senator Ahmad Lawan will pass this PIB before the end of 2021.

“We have set this timeline for ourselves because like they say, what gets measure gets done and we have provided clearly defined timelines to enable us meet this set target,” he added.

Reps Hope To Pass PIGB Before July, Says Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaks during a meeting in Abuja on February 5, 2020.

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has given an assurance that the House would do all it could to pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) before the end of June.

According to him, the PIGB is on the front burner of the House and members of the Green Chamber will commence the process of its passage soon.

Gbajabiamila stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting with a delegation of the Experts Advisory Panel of the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter.

Nothing that the House needed the support and partnership of such group, he stressed that although the PIGB has been in the National Assembly for years, the 9th Assembly was committed to putting it to rest.

“PIGB is on the front burner. We intend to start the process soon. We’re hoping that by June, we’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” the speaker said.

He added, “Oil and gas is an integral part of our economy. It remains the mainstay of our economy, and so we have to work together to protect it.”

“It requires us to work with those who understand the nuances of that sector. For the oil and gas industry to develop, there has to be a symbiotic relationship. You have the knowledge and we have the capacity to make it happen.”

Gbajabiamila told his guests that the House would use the zeal and patriotism with which it passed the Deep Offshore Sharing Agreement Law to pass the PIGB.

He said, “We have to put Nigeria first and that’s what we did with that bill (Deep Offshore), and that’s what we’ll do with the PIGB.

“On the side of Nigeria and on the side of the National Assembly, that’s where we’re going to.”

The leader of the delegation and former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Odein Ajumogobia, said the visit was to seek the understanding and cooperation of the speaker to pass some bills that could boost Nigeria’s economy, one of which was the PIGB.

He explained that the panel’s main concern was the implementation of the natural resource charter for the nation’s oil and gas sector to benefit the citizens.

Ajumogobia noted that part of their concern was focusing on providing capacity to support the legislature in determining the best way in terms of legislation that would move the oil and gas sector forward.

Senate To Investigate Actions Of NNPC Regarding Freight Of Petroleum Products

 

The Senate on Wednesday resolved to investigate the actions of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company in ensuring participation of indigenous companies in the freight of petroleum products, in line with the provisions of Presidential Executive Order 5(2018).

This was predicated upon a call by Senator Ramoni Olalekan Mustapha seeking an investigation into the breach of Nigerian laws by foreign vessels in coastal shipping of petroleum products in the downstream sector of the Nigerian Maritime University.

Senator Olalekan Mustapaha (APC, Ogun East), noted that the National Content (NOGICD) Act 2010 was enacted to promote value addition to the National Economy by stimulating growth and industrial development in the Oil and Gas Sector of the Economy.

According to the lawmaker, “The influx of foreign vessels into the Nigerian downstream sector is alarming against the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003 which clearly restricts vessels engaged in domestic coastal trade.”

He added, “Only wholly-owned, manned and registered Nigerian vessels can engage in the domestic coastal carriage of Petroleum products within the Territorial and Inland Waterways.”

Senator Mustapha said that over the last fifteen years, indigenous tonnage capacity and coastal shipping capabilities have grown exponentially with Nigerian operators owning multiple tanker vessels in their fleet.

The lawmaker stated that though NNPC is the largest employer of downstream shipping services in Africa, the corporation’s activities in terms of opportunities and indigenous capacities have not been enhanced.

He stated that the Capital freight spent by NNPC through Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum Product (DSDP) is approximately USD$60 million monthly to about USD$720 million annually.

“The value of DSDP for 2019/2020 contract period is at the range of USD$9 billion, out of which foreign ship-owners amount for one hundred percent of freight associated with this downstream activity, most of which is repatriated overseas to the detriment of the Nigerian economy”, Senator Mustapha lamented.

READ ALSO: FIRS, AMCON: Senate To Receive Reports On Nami, Adamu Next Week

The lawmaker added that the lack of Contract of Carriage and the absence of guaranteed cargo tonnage in the Maritime Industry have led to significant loses and collapsed of domestic and indigenous shipping.

Consequently, the Senate, in its resolutions, mandated the Committees on Local Content & Compliance to investigate the reasons for the dominance of foreign vessels above locally owned, manned and registered vessels in the domestic carriage of petroleum products within the coastal territory and inland waterways of Nigeria.

The Upper Chamber further resolved to investigate foreign ship owners of freight associated with downstream activities repatriated overseas by NNPC to the detriment of the local economy or patronage.

Also to be investigated is the flagrant abuse of the NOGICD Act 2010 and Cabotage Act 2003 respectively, by the operators and stakeholders in the Maritime Industry, through a ship-ship transfer with the coastal foreign vessel.

In its motion on Wednesday, the Senate mandated the Committees on Local Content and Petroleum Downstream to carry out an investigation with a view to unraveling the influx of foreign vessels in the coastal region and the level of patronage of Nigerian shipping companies.

Meanwhile, members of the Senate on Wednesday considered a motion on the ‘escalating rate’ of unemployment in the country.

The motion was sponsored during plenary by the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

In their resolution, the lawmakers proffered solutions to the executive arm of the government for adoption and implementation.

One of these is for the Federal, State and Local Governments to declare emergency on the provision of employment across the country.

The senators also called on the Federal Ministry of National Planning to put the necessary mechanism and programmes in place to achieve this.

Italian Oil Major Makes Huge Gas Discovery In Nigeria

Italian oil major, Eni, said on Wednesday that its Nigerian subsidiary Agip has found lots of gas and oil in an onshore facility in the Niger Delta.

Eni operated Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) made the discovery in the Obiafu-Obrikom fields.

It said the Obiafu-41 deep well had reached a total depth of 4.374 m, encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sands.

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“The find amounts to about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate in the deep drilled sequences,” the statement by the oil major added.

“The well can deliver in excess of 100 million standard cubic feet/day of gas and 3,000 barrels/day of associated condensates, and will be immediately put on-stream to increase NAOC’s gas production.”

The statement added that Eni has been operating in Nigeria since 1962 and produces 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Ignore Saraki’s “Fairy Tales” Regarding Oil And Gas Sector – Keyamo Tells Nigerians

Zakari: PDP Cannot Impose ‘Its Own Interpretation Of Fair Play’ On Nigerians – Keyamo
Festus Keyamo speaks during his appearance on Sunday Politics on December 9, 2018.

 

The official spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has urged Nigerians to ignore claims by Senate President Bukola Saraki regarding an alleged fraud within the Oil and Gas sector. 

 

Keyamo in a statement on Friday said the Director General (DG) of the PDP Presidential Campaign has resorted to a baseless campaign of calumny directed at the person of Mr. President, “Ahead of the looming defeat of the PDP at the Presidential polls next month”.

He said, “Dr. Bukola Saraki’s resort to poorly choreographed and worn-out political brinksmanship is fueled by the obvious absence of any credible agenda or bearing to present to Nigerians in their campaigns.

“In clear demonstration of hallucination with figures, Dr. Bukola Saraki claimed, in an interview with Channels Television a few days ago, that Nigeria’s petrol consumption is about 20-22 million Iitres per day and that the current import level of about 50million litres is a scam and fraudulent.

“However, the same Dr. Bukola Saraki was in the 7th Senate and knows very well that in 2014 and part of 2015, the PDP Government that was in power was reporting to Nigerians daily PMS consumption of 35-40 million litres per day. (In January, 2014 for example, the average monthly consumption was 38 million Iitres per day. By January, 2015 under the same government of PDP, they reported 36 milIion Iitres per day and March 2015, the daily consumption reported by PDP government was 45 million Iitres per day, whilst importing at levels above 80million litres per day).

“Strangely, years later, the PDP Campaign DG is peddling a phantom fuel consumption figure of 20-22 million litres per day.

“The PDP Chief Campaigner discountenanced the obvious fact that within the last three years of the current administration, the Nigerian economy that PDP left in comatose has been jump-started to vibrancy leading to remarkable changes in energy consumption needs and patterns.

“The allegation that the national oil company prevailed on Mr. President not to seek appropriation for subsidy and to rather treat it as cost under-recovery is not only laughable and mischievous, but it is a blatant lie.

“Verifiable records indicate that NNPC has never claimed subsidy payment from any government in its history of operation. All NNPC’s transactions in this regard have been treated as product costs under-recovery.

“The Corporation, like any other business entity, does its business and recovers its cost from its revenues.

 

 

READ ALSO: Wike Faults INEC’s Credibility On Delivering Free, Fair Elections

“It is instructive to note that in his rush to indict the NNPC and the President, willy-nilly, Dr. Bukola Saraki forgot that a Senate Committee was set up by him to investigate the intervention of NNPC in PMS imports.

“The mandate of the Committee includes volumes, costs, and any associated under-recoveries. The big question remains; why would he not wait for the outcome of the Committee he set up to investigate the matter? Is it because he believes the outcome of his Committee will not satisfy his predetermined mindset?

Keyamo there urged Nigerians to ignore the tantrums of Dr. Bukola Saraki as it concerns the oil and gas sector.

“Massive Fraud In The Oil Sector”

Senate President Bukola Saraki in an earlier interview with Channels Television alleged that there is massive fraud within the oil sector.

The lawmaker said applying subsidy on assumption that Nigeria consumes fifty million litres (50million litres) of fuel a day, is fraudulent.

Saraki said in the Jonathan administration subsidy was based on an assumption that the nation consumes 30million litres of fuel daily.

He added that he and some other lawmakers warned that the Jonathan government was condoning corruption “by over importing fuel and because of that we were losing a lot of money”.

The Senate President said the present government instead of changing the process, jerked up the importation by 20 million litres extra.

He said, “you would have thought that a government that was to fight corruption and prevent leakages would even if you are going to continue subsidy, ensure that it is better managed.”

Saraki said there is no way Nigerians can consume 50million litres a day, “it is just money being stolen,” he alleged.

Buhari’s Government Is Corrupt

Saraki says President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has lost its moral ground in the fight against corruption because of corrupt practices within the administration.

The Senate President in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s Seun Okinbaloye said the Buhari-led government came in on a promise to oust corruption but have rather allowed a new set of corrupt officials to thrive.

Saraki said there is no way the present government can be speaking of integrity when it has “a member who has been found wanting, left without charge or prosecution”.

He said, in 2015 the Jonathan administration was ousted on three major promises which are: security, economic growth and the fight against corruption.

The lawmaker, however, opined that “Nigerians are not better off today than they were in 2015”.

 

Senate Seeks Enforcement Of Local Content Law In Oil And Gas Sector

 

The Senate Committee on Local Content says it is determined to clamp down on oil and gas companies who refuse to remit funds to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

The Senate Committee Chairman, Solomon Adeola, gave the warning on Saturday after a visit to three oil companies in Rivers State.

The committee members expressed satisfaction that majority of the staff in the companies are Nigerians, in fulfilment of the local content law.

They were, however, disappointed that the companies which have been operating in Nigeria for years are still almost totally foreign owned.

The lawmakers also expressed displeasure that none of the companies was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Going forward, the committee said the National Assembly will review the Local Content Law, expanding its scope to cover other industries such as telecomms, ICT, manufacturing and the extractive industries.

It also stated that the board has commissioned auditors to look into the accounts of oil and gas companies and fish out those defaulting in their payments.

Senate To Probe Oil And Gas Lease Renewal

Senate To Probe Oil And Gas Lease Renewal By Kachikwu, DPR
Senate Chamber (file)

 

The Senate has resolved to investigate the ongoing oil and gas lease renewal being undertaken by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

The lawmakers took the decision on Wednesday following a motion sponsored by Senator Omotayo Alasoadura at plenary in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

Senator Alasoadura accused the minister and the DPR of perpetuating irregularities capable of denying the government revenue in excess of $10billion, as a result of alleged illegal discounts and rebates in the process of lease renewal.

FG Not Increasing Fuel Price From N145 – Kachikwu
(File) Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, addressing a press conference in Abuja.

 

Senator Shehu Sani, on his part, said the issue of lease renewal had been a major discourse in the last one week.

He was hopeful that a thorough investigation into the issue would open “a whole can of worms” on the matter.

“There have been series of motions related to this issue and I think further investigation is required,” Senator Sani said.

On his part, Senator Umaru Kurfi said, “We cannot be seen folding our arms on this issue. We have to take deliberate steps to end these discrepancies and call in the Minister of State for Petroleum for further investigation.”

Senator Gbolahan Dada also suggested that the Senate invites Dr Kachikwu, as the matter that needed to be addressed was “lack of enforcement”.

But Senator Rafiu Ibrahim believes the minister cannot approve issues such as this and asked the lawmakers to expand the list of those to be called in for investigation.

The Senate consequently resolved to mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to investigate the issue and report back to the chamber.

The committee was also directed to identify measures to correct the purported anomalies in the lease renewal.

Nigeria Looks To Local Skills To Develop Oil And Gas

A photo taken on February 23, 2018 shows the Egina FPSO berthed in Lagos harbour, Nigeria. The Egina FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) unit is the largest FPSO ever installed in Nigeria and has the capacity to produce up to 200 000 barrels of oil per day.
Stefan HEUNIS / AFP

 

 

Fishing boats look like specks alongside Egina, which has been moored for the last month in Lagos. Even the container ships that normally dominate the port look like small boats.

The floating production storage and offloading facility (FPSO), developed by the French group Total, looks a lot like a giant Lego set.

Everything about it is huge: its weight (220,000 tonnes), length (330 metres/1,083 feet) and width (60 metres). At 33 metres, it’s as high as a 10-storey building.

The vessel is in its final stage of construction and will soon produce some 200,000 barrels of oil a day or about 10 percent of national production.

In the next few months, Egina will head to the Niger Delta and link up to 44 subsea wells some 1,600 metres under the Gulf of Guinea.

The Egina FPSO berthed in Lagos harbour, Nigeria.

 

Up to 2.3 million barrels of crude can be stored in its hull, before being taken abroad to be refined.

The cost of the project is up to $16 billion (12.8 billion euros) but according to the head of Total in Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz, the investment is justified.

“Nigeria is a very important country for Total. We’ve been here for the last 60 years,” he told AFP, looking up at the huge ship.

“It’s the biggest FPSO ever constructed by the group.”

‘Local Content’

The construction of Egina in Africa for Africa may be a first but it’s not been welcomed by everyone in Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Local residents say it’s disturbed their sleep while the Egina’s sheer size has made it difficult for the yachts of amateur sailors to catch the wind in their sails.

It’s not just Egina’s size and cost that are unique: it’s the first major project to have been undertaken since a 2010 Nigerian law that made “local content” compulsory.

More than half of those involved in its construction were Nigerian and more than 75 percent of the work was done in Port Harcourt or Lagos.

The remainder was done at the Samsung shipyard in South Korea.

 

“We would have never thought that these things could be done locally,” said Dolapo Oni, an oil analyst with Ecobank. “It was a big gamble for Total.”

“Local companies have no access to local banks or even international funding.

“But Egina shows that there is still foreign confidence at a time when Shell or Exxon don’t invest anymore in Nigeria.”
Nigeria has suffered years of mismanagement of its resources.

In January, parliament voted for a bill to reform the oil sector and make it more transparent, nearly two decades after it was first proposed.

The bill still needs the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to become law.

Buhari, who also doubles up as oil minister, has vowed to overhaul the sector as part of his drive to clean up politics and claw back billions of dollars in looted public money.

Vast Inequality

In Lagos, the fishermen who pass by the Egina every day in their grimy boats can make as little as two dollars a day. It’s a sign of the vast inequality in Lagos.

But private local partners see a chance for change: 3,000 people have already been involved in the Lagos construction phase of Egina.

Ladol, which provides support services to the oil and gas sector and where Egina has been moored, is 100 percent Nigerian.

Its chief executive, Amy Jadesimi, said the vessel’s arrival radically changed the landscape of the industry.

“We now have the biggest crane capacity in the whole of Africa, we have a qualified labour force,” said the 42-year-old former investment banker in London.

“The idea is to host more projects like this one and not only in oil and gas.

“We can fabricate very large silos for agricultural products and now that we can host the largest vessels in the world, they can come and collect the largest amount of domestic products.”

Jadesimi estimated that could generate up to 50,000 jobs.

But the Nigerian government, which gets $1.6 billion a month or 70 percent of its revenue from oil, needs to invest in energy and infrastructure for that to happen.

On the roads leading to the port lorry drivers wait for weeks on end in searing heat just to be able to unload or take delivery of their cargo.

U.S. Pledges Support For Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Industry

The Foreign Commercial Service of the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Nigeria and its leading local partner, Manifold Computers, have introduced an innovative technology Synergy and Aruba for use in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Synergy and Aruba according to the U.S. helps companies operating in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to increase efficiency of operations, monitor people, manage resources, make real-time decisions, reduce risks, save costs, and increase flexibility, productivity and company bottom line.

Speaking during a public presentation of the technology product at an event in Lagos last week, United States Consul General F. John Bray renewed the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting trade and investment in Nigeria. He encouraged Nigerian oil and gas industry players to avail themselves of the innovative technology with a view to harnessing Nigeria’s abundant resources, improving their bottom-line and ultimately growing the economy.

“Nigeria presents tremendous long-term growth opportunities and the United States government remains committed to supporting American companies and local partners in deploying U.S. technology to help tackle some of the challenges the country is facing,” Consul General F. John Bray said at the event attended by leading oil and gas industry players, technology service providers, and senior government officials.

Acting Commercial Counselor of the U.S. Mission, Mr Paul Bergman, highlighted Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s long term partnership with the American Commercial Service.

According to him, the U.S. Commercial Service will continue to be at the fore-front of promoting trade and investment between America and Nigeria through the development and execution of mutually beneficial international trade policies and promotion strategies.

Managing Director, HPE Nigeria, Mr Chukwuma Okpaka, noted that the high performance computing technology solution meets the modern exigencies of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Modeling and simulation applications, he added, will accelerate breakthroughs in oil and gas, science, medicine, technology, and energy sectors.

Julius Berger To Diversify Into Oil, Power Sector

Nigeria’s largest construction company by market value, Julius Berger, says it plans to acquire oil assets and expand into the country’s power sector.

This comes as the construction giant seeks to diversify its business and stay competitive.

The company is also considering bidding for business in other countries in West Africa including Ghana, Benin and Cote D’ Ívoire

Read Also: Indonesian Company To Build Refinery In Nigeria

Julius Berger has formed a partnership with Petralon Energy to work on oil fields in the Niger Delta region and is currently in talks with about eight power-industry investors to build generating plants in the country.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government may soon achieve its objective of boosting Nigeria’s local refining capacity as an Indonesian firm has revealed plans to construct a modular refinery in the country.

The refinery will be located in Akwa Ibom State and on completion is expected to churn out 10,000 barrels of oil per day.