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Gains of WAIPEC and need for more oil sector investment

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Bank Anthony Okoroafor

Bank-Anthony Okoroafor is the chairman of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), an umbrella body for all oil services companies in Nigeria.

He is also the Managing Director of Oilfield Services Company (Vhelbherg) and Chief Executive Officer of CB Geophysical Solutions Limited. In this interview with Roseline Okere, he spoke on the upcoming West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (WAIPEC) and the oil and gas sector’s need for more investment. .

WAIPEC has been on for some time now.  What is the progress made so far?
WAIPEC is a solutions conference. The strategy is to deliver better programs every year and add value to the industry. WAIPEC is an integrated platform combining plenary conference programmes with a series of solutions and an international exhibition to ensure that all participants in the Nigerian Oil & Gas community can continue to share views, develop partnerships and attract investment.

What are the  benefits of this conference to the Nigeria economy and the oil and gas sector?
WAIPEC is focused more on high level strategic sessions and discussions on game changing solutions for the oil and gas industry. Focus is on how to remove bottleneck and grow the industry while leaving the technical programs for SPE, NAPE ETC.
The content, the programs, the quality of the delegates and communique from the event, have always been a pace setter and pathfinder for the oil and gas activities for the year. It is different from other conferences because it is a Bespoke industry program by the industry people for the growth of the industry.

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) has grown to become a big event that attracts stakeholders all over the world. What have you put in place to make WAIPEC compete with OTC?
WAIPEC’s mission is to promote the region’s oil and gas industry, seek industry best practice, explore new technologies and develop commercial opportunities for business and international investment. Our focus is on Africa. On this exhibition, you will see key oil & Gas IOC & NOC  executives and government people from strategic african countries.

How many exhibitors and visitors are we expecting during the conference and what would they be showcasing at the event?
Most of the booths have been taken. We are expecting more than 3000 visitors each day of the conference
Though, crude oil price has started rising, but, the oil sector is still recovery from loses during the period of low oil prices.

Will this not affect the level of participating countries and companies?
No, it will not affect the level of participation because Companies are looking for solutions and also the WAIPEC creates a great networking opportunity for the industry covering the entire african sub region.

What is your assessment of the Nigeria oil sector?  What are your expectation from the sector in 2018?
We need lots of activity in the oil & Gas sector to sustain the capacities and capabilities built so far. This is not happening now. There are no projects . We should as a country plan to always have sustainable projects. After Egina now, what happens to all the capabilities built if there is no project coming up in the horizon. This will be a monumental disaster. What will be the faith of Nigerdock, Ladol, Aveon, DormanLong, Slot, EnergyWorks, OilServe,Vhelbherg, BGT, GPPS, PWO, DeltaTEK,IESL, Dover, WelTek. We should remove all bottlenecks that are slowing down the coming on stream of mega projects.A lot of equipments and personnel are idle. We must push the Zabazaba, The Bonga SW, and other big projects to the front burner. The level of well services in Nigeria is very low. That is why equipment utilisation by well services companies like Geoplex, Emval, Weafri, BGT, OilData, GPPS,AFIS, Sowsco, OilTest, Mansfield, Drillpet, Segof, Additional oilfield services, Poseidon, Oilflow,Well Fluid services, WellOpt, Petrolog, Amtrak, Flosmart, DSV pipetronics  are abysmal.
For 2018, I expect:
– Get our Oil & Gas Policies from draft to real policies.
– Push for domestication of Oil & Gas big projects in Nigeria.
– Sustainable peace in Niger Delta.
– Passing of PIB.
– Create more indigenous E & P Operators.
– More Gas projects.
– Gas Flare commercialisation.
– Increase Well services Activities.
– Zabazaba and Bonga SW to progress.

Nigeria’s crude oil production has not been able to reach the 2.5 million barrel mark due to several challenges. What are these challenges and what are your advice on how to tackle them?
The challenges includes Pipeline Vandalization, Crude thefts, Militancy, OPEC production limits. Restoring sustainable peace agreement in the Niger delta and genuine empowerment of the youths  should address some of these issues. Restore confidence on security of people and assets in the entire Niger delta. In present-day Nigeria, Oil accounts for 95% of foreign exchange earnings and 75% of government revenue for Nigeria. The implication of extended militancy/vandalization/crude theft in this low oil price environment for a Nigerian economy which runs mainly on a single commodity is dire. This environment creates high risks. At $69/bbl. countries like Nigeria with large populations, low reserves and an over dependence on oil could become severely stressed if we cannot produce and sell more bpd.. These are interesting times because the mono-product that Nigeria’s finances hang on is being threatened by this militancy. 95% of Foreign Exchange Earnings are tied to oil and with shortened revenues in dollars’ terms, the Naira will be under continuous pressure. E & P Operators are all suffering since the export pipelines are all down sometimes. This creates collateral damage for the country, the operators, service companies and all of us.

How has the indigenous oil service firms benefitted from the Nigeria Content policy?  What is your advice to the Federal Government in respect of more patronage of local in oil firms in the country?
Indigenous oil service companies have benefited because the Nigerian Content Policy has made it mandatory to give jobs to competent Nigerian service companies with the capacities and capabilities needed. You now have
– Indigenous Marine vessel companies like Marine Platform
– Indigenous Rig Companies like Unitherm, Tecon
– More fabrication tonnages now done in-country – Aveon, DormanLong, EnergyWorks, OilServe, Slot, Ariboil, WelTek, Harrybeat, Thompson and Grace, Vandrezzar
– Pipe coating done in country – Solewant
– Most well services from drilling, Logging, Well heads, Slickline, Cementing, Pumping, Coiled Tubing & Nitrogen Services, Casing and Tubular running services now done by Nigerian Companies
– Most services on Land and Swamp now done by indigenous service companies
– Domestication of FPSO integration capability in lADOL.
– 80% of Engineering now carried out in-country – Netco, DeltaTek, IESL, Dover, Point, Nestoil, WestField, Lee Engineering, Petrolog, Frazimex,
– Training in-country has increased considerably – Tallman, Charkin, Laser Engineering, Richardson

The Nigerian Content Policy has created a lot of in-country value retention, more human capital development, more empowerment of Nigerians. The government must be firm and support NCDMB in ensuring that the Nigerian Content Policy is always on the front burner, is not tampered with in any form or guise. Government should introduce it to other sectors of the economy.


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