By Benjamin Arida/:
Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, has said that the Federal Government is committed to reactivating all moribund oil and gas support facilities in the country.
Auwalu explained that this was part of the government’s effort to increase domestic refining capacity and gas utilisation in order to curb unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that Auwalu spoke on Monday during an assessment visit to Kaztec Engineering Ltd. Fabrication Yard, Ilase Village, Snake Island, in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the facility which was licensed to provide oil and gas services support by the DPR had not been operational since 2015 due to contractual issues.
The Director noted that some of the critical equipment in the facility was currently owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation but were not being utilised for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Auwalu said, “The industry depends on facilities like this to actualise their investment because it is like a support system for the oil and gas sector.
“Our visit here is to see an edifice that we licensed and it is dormant, but we are going to make it active because we see it as an opportunity to grow the oil and gas industry.
“We have seen an opportunity we can use to support our gas utilisation, penetration and expansion programme.
“We have issued several licenses for modular refineries that need fabrications. We cannot allow this kind of facility to remain under-utilised.
Auwalu asserted that some of the fabrication jobs that could be done at the facility were being shipped to China which was not good for Nigeria’s economy.
He added that plans were also ongoing to double the contribution of the oil and gas sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product to about 15 per cent from the current eight per cent.
Earlier, Engineering Director, Kaztec Engineering Ltd., Mr. Mike Simpson, said the facility became dormant in 2015 after its main contractor, Addax Petroleum, declared a force majeure on its operations.
Simpson said some of the unutilised equipment in the facility included a Dive Support Vessel, Pipe Laying Vessel and an already constructed Jacket that could be used for oil and gas operations.
He said the facility when it was operational had 2,000 direct employees and 7,000 indirect employees which had a direct impact on the host community and its environs.