Nigeria decries wasting $600m investment, vows to revive moribund oil, gas projects
Disturbed by the wasting away of a $600 million investment on account of failed offshore and onshore projects under the Antan scheme, the Federal Government is to reactivate all moribund and dormant oil and gas support facilities nationwide.
Chairman of the Committee on Compensatory Contracts and other Incentives, Magnus Abe, said the decision was part of efforts to boost Nigeria’s production capacity both in the upstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry, create employment opportunities and improve the nation’s earnings.
Speaking during the panel’s tour of Kaztec Engineering Limited Fabrication Yard, Ilase Village, Snake Island in Amuwo-Odofin Council of Lagos State at the weekend, Abe noted that the services firm, which has not been operational since 2015 due to contractual issues, had critical equipment and investment worth $600 million lying fallow.
Fabrication at the facility was designed to make it the first wholly indigenous EPIC (Engineering, Procurement, Fabrication, and Offshore Installation, full Turnkey) company to deliver complex offshore and onshore oil and gas projects until Addax Petroleum declared a force majeure on its operations.
The chairman said: “Addax Petroleum awarded this contract to Kaztec Engineering to establish this fabrication yard as part of the exploration activities of Addax and later in 2015, Addax ran into some tax and audit issues with the Federal Government. They declared a force majeure on the contract and by that time, Kaztec had already spent more than $600 million to build this yard and employed over 3000 direct workers.
“With the force majeure declared, all those people lost their jobs and this facility, that was projected to save the country forex (foreign exchange) and also helps generate income value of $33 billion over the next 10 years, could not continue. The country is losing a lot not only in terms of the work that could be done here that now have to be outsourced to vendors to whom we have to pay in dollars but also in terms of over $600 million that has been invested here.”
Earlier, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sarki Auwalu, pointed out that the facility, when functional, would play a significant role in driving the government’s gas utilisation, penetration, and expansion programme.
He regretted that some of the fabrication jobs that could have been done at the installation were being shipped to China at the disadvantage of the Nigerian economy.
In his response, Engineering Director, Kaztec Engineering Limited, Mike Simpson, said some of the unutilised equipment in the yard include a Dive Support Vessel, Pipe Laying Vessel, and a Jacket for oil and gas operations.