Nigeria has earned more than $180 billion from deepwater operations, the Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, said yesterday.
Baru, who spoke through the Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream, Mr. Musa Rabiu, at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United States (U.S.), said the deepwater province holds a great future for Nigeria.
In his paper entitled: “Deepwater operations in Nigeria: The journey so far”, he said: “Discovered deepwater assets in Nigeria hold approximately 13 billion barrels of oil, out of which about two billion has been produced. There is a huge volume yet untapped and opportunity abounds.
“Also, the industry has committed capital in excess of $65 billion and generated revenue exceeding $180 billion, thereby, creating value for all stakeholders. There are more barrels of oil to be recovered. Therefore, more opportunities are waiting.”
Quoting the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the NNPC GMD said: “There are 87 deepwater blocks in the country, out of which only seven are producing and additional six at different stages of development.
“It is important to note that there are more than half of the blocks in deepwater Nigeria are still open. This shows there is a huge potential yet to be unlocked.”
According to him, Nigeria remains an active play relative to other regions in terms of deepwater development.
The industry, he noted, started with the deployment of latest technology a stride it has continued to maintain. Out of the 15 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) in Nigeria, seven have been deployed for deepwater operations.
With Nigeria ranking next to Angola within the African deepwater operations in terms of FPSO deployment, the NNPC boss said: “I expect an upward trend in activities within the deepwater Nigeria and continued deployment of leading technology.”
On the impact of deepwater operations in terms of capacity and local content development, Baru said: “We have utilised each deepwater project as an avenue to upscale our human capital acquiring unique skills in different areas not limited to engineering design, project management, welding and diving.
“Also, the local content contribution or share of services in deepwater has continued to grow. We have improved from the sub one per cent level to an aggregate contribution of over 25 per cent from engineering man-hours of less than 20,000 to over 1.1 million in recent Egina project. With the Nigerian content, tonnage has grown by 600 per cent from the first deepwater project till date.
“Deepwater projects benefited the wider Nigerian economy by boosting demand for a range of goods and services including offshore vessels and platforms, materials, floating hotels, helicopters and manpower, creating jobs and providing a range of training and maintenance services to the industry locally. Services in areas such as manpower supply, logistics, and vessel supply, chemical supplies have more or less been domesticated.
“Recent further demonstration of this was the in-country topside integration on the Egina FPSO project. This achieves the dual goal of both industrialisation and manpower development through job creation and skill acquisition.
“The gains enumerated in terms of production and reserve growth, revenue and value creation, manpower and technology development needs to be sustained. I must reiterate that sustaining the gains means all hands must be on deck. We must leverage the expected growth in deepwater for national development. We expect within the next 10 years that production from Nigeria deepwater would double.”