President Goodluck Jonathan
By John Iwori
The provisions of the local content bill signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan last year has started to make impact as an indigenous firm, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL), has began the repair of an oil rig costing over N2.5 billion ($15.6 million) at the LADOL Free Zone (LFZ).
The operational base of LADOL, which is the operator of LFZ, is situated in the estuary of Atlantic Ocean, Apapa, Lagos.
Prior to the enactment of the Nigerian Local Content Development Act (NLCDA) otherwise called the Local Content Act, only insignificant jobs of such nature were done in Nigeria as the owners of the rigs are not compelled by law to carry out the repairs of their rigs or vessels in the country.
The giant rig, named Noble Percy Jones, is expected to undergo a complete maintenance turnaround at the base for a period of 90 days after which it would be satisfied feet for offshore operations for the next five years.
Operations Manager of Noble Drilling Nigeria Limited, Mr. Dave Arthur, who conducted members of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) round the rig at the base, said the firm had chosen to undertake the repair works at LFZ because it was sufficiently satisfied with its facilities as well as other logistics provisions as specified by the Board.
“We are encouraged by the local content policy of Nigeria, coupled with the available facilities here in bringing our job to LADOL, rather than policy consideration”, he said.
Arthur, who expressed satisfaction with the level of work at the ongoing repair of the 29-year old rig, stated that the company chose to repair at LFZ due to the fact that the base is located in a safe environment devoid of community crisis. He added that the rig would be due for delivery on October 1, 2012; making it 100 days.
As part of the objectives of the NLCDA, the Federal Government aims at empowering indigenous companies operating in oil and gas, and maritime service sectors to enable them secure jobs from international oil companies (IOCs).
Players in these sectors have maintained that firms involved in offshore logistics services should step up efforts in the business of rig repair and maintenance, thereby helping to save the economy from huge losses in capital flight as a result of undertaking such rig repairs overseas.
He explained that after considering other options for the rig maintenance, the company decided to do the job at LADOL since it has found the environment conducive in view of the prevailing security challenges in some parts of the country.
Members of NCDMB, who were accompanied by other top government officials, revealed that the rig repair which has created over 261 jobs for Nigerians, would also generate the sum of $15.6 million into the Nigerian economy.
Managing Director of LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, had earlier in her presentation titled: ‘Making Nigeria the Hub for Rig Repair in West Africa’, noted that repairing rigs in Nigeria has helped the country to benefit from technological transfer through training of pool of manpower, who took part in the repair process.
She disclosed that LADOL, in partnership with Samsung Heavy Industries, was working on expanding its fabrication capacity from 10,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes with the integration of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) fabrication facility in Nigeria.
This, Jadesimi, added, was in order to centralise mega oil and gas and maritime fabrication jobs for the West Africa sub-region in the country.