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Indigenous firms, multinationals tap latest global technology at OTC


Global techOPERATORS and service companies in the upstream oil and gas sector face many technology and innovation challenges in developing existing and future oil reserves to their full potential.

They need to make important investment decisions on technology to enable them work in deeper water, develop subsea operations, extend the life of oil and gas fields, and work in increasingly more remote and dangerous fields.

More than 94,700 attendees from 130 countries who gathered at the 2015 yearly Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), believed that investing in technology, and specifically technology that can be transferred between industries and among companies, would assist in ameliorating the current challenges in the oil and sector.

Determined to ensure that indigenous Nigerian oil and gas companies benefit from the latest technology available at the conference, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) lead over 200 Nigerian companies to participate in this year’s edition of the OTC in Houston, Texas United States of America.

According to the President of PETAN, OTC pavilion has become a very viable platform for exhibitors to showcase what they are doing in the industry, and also to attract investors to the Nigerian oil and gas industry. “It is a very good platform for striking new business deal. Apart from that, it has really portrayed Nigeria in a very positive light,” he said.

Ene stated that the conference has created opportunity for people to meet and interact with serious Nigerian players, business men, entrepreneurs and technocrats who have been in business for over two decades, adding that this is why PETAN is taking this extra step to bring Nigerian companies to exhibit and make new business negotiations.

He said: “I think that technology in itself and various technologies grow in phases. Technology is not one word; it derives from the application of knowledge to get things done. What has happened in the industry is that its being done in multiple phases. We had the phase of creating opportunities for Nigerians to provide service, now that it has started maturing with the Nigerian Content Act, to the phase of actually manufacturing. Now that is driving the phase of Research and Development, R&D. We have had a few instances of Professors in universities collaborating with private companies to create solutions including services, in fabrication; in process engineering , we have seen a lot of that already beginning to happen.

“For the OTC 2015, we are carrying the message that we, as an industry, can work together to fix the challenges and are creating new opportunities for investment in Nigeria. For example, our theme for the topical panel session at this year’s OTC is “Natural Gas development in Nigeria – A compelling investment frontier in a turbulent oil market.”

“We believe that Nigeria still offers an attractive opportunity for investments in the oil and gas industry, particularly in the gas sector. There are potential opportunities for investing in gas infrastructure development, gas to power and cooking gas.

“PETAN members and Nigerian companies are encouraging further collaboration and value-added partnerships with the IOCs, independent producers, marginal field operators and off course the private investor community. During the OTC week, we are also collaborating with the U.S. Embassy commercial department to set up match-making business sessions not just between Nigerian companies and US companies, but also involving Angolan and Mozambican business men and women. One is curious about this refocus on gas, we both know that the federal government has been singing this gas monetisation song for a long time without much success.

“The success of the gas monetisation drive will ultimately depend on private sector engagement powered by local content. Local companies can build gas infrastructure, create a viable market for gas, expand the market for technical services, pool resources and attract more investment into the industry”.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Joseph Dawha, has said it was leading a drive to attract massive global investments into the nation’s gas sub-sector.

Dawha noted that with its immense gas potentials, Nigeria “needs not be and must not be a victim of price drop, instead we should position to benefit from it”.

“The GMD said for the nation’s gas sub-sector to benefit from the drive, industry players must brace up for the challenges ahead.
“The Nigerian gas sector has seen tremendous focus in the last few years.

“We have grown capacity at a pace of 18-20 per cent with supply now at about two billion cubic feet of gas per day in the domestic market from a humble start of about 300 million cubic feet per day a few years ago.’’

The GMD said that based on projected growth demand anchored on growing industrial requirements, the sub-sector needed to grow further to some six billion cubic feet of gas per day.

He noted that in spite of the annual investment of millions of dollars in the last four years in gas supply and infrastructure, there was need for significant addition to infrastructure and supply development.

“For example, we have built over 500km gas pipelines and we are building an additional 120km currently; but we need to build many more kilometers of pipelines to connect new markets and gas sources.

“We need investments in gas processing, micro-Liquified Natural Gas, CompressedNatural Gas as well as upstream Non-Associated Gas (NAG) development. Therein lie the compelling investment opportunities,’’ he said.

He said the theme of the session was not only apt but in tandem with the aspiration and projection of the NNPC for the oil and gas industry.

“It brings to our collective consciousness the potential in Nigerian domestic gas sector.

“We can turn the gloom inherent in low price into a breakthrough for gas based industrialisation of Nigeria,’’ Dawha stated.

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