By Ejiofor Alike
Buoyed by the success recorded in the execution of certain categories of projects in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and by Nigerians, the Federal Government plans to ensure that future integration of fabricated steel structures into Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessels is done locally.
FPSOs are floating vessels that store crude oil produced in both deep and shallow offshore and offload it into export tankers for shipment.
With storage tank that can store up to two million barrels of oil, FPSO also has helicopter landing facilities, accommodation facilities for over 180 personnel and source of power supply.
A typical FPSO for each of the Nigeria’s five deepwater oilfields has a length of over 300metres; weight of more than 110,000tonnes and 60metres of width.
But of the over 110,000tonnage, only about 8,000tonnes are fabricated in Nigeria by indigenous contractors as all the major fabrication works are done in Korean yards by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries.
Though Nigerian indigenous companies fabricate structural steel components of up to 8,000 tonnage, these structures are transported to foreign fabrication yards for integration into the main FPSOs, before the FPSOs sail to Nigeria, on completion.
But the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has stated that with the success recorded in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, future integration of steel structures into FPSOs would be done in Nigeria.
Speaking at the weekend in Lagos on the occasion of the inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan of two Wellhead Platforms built by Nigerdock Nigeria Plc for Mobil Producing Nigeria and NNPC joint venture, the minister stated that indigenous companies had demonstrated a capacity to execute world-class projects.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the project was a testimony that the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act was already delivering the desired results.
She noted that by insisting that the platforms and other similar structures were fabricated at the Nigerdock yard, a workforce of over 1,000 had been supported and developed for the oil and gas industry.
“Therefore, I am sure I speak the mind of every Nigerian when I say thank you Mr. President for signing the Nigerian Content Act into law,” she said.
Currently, provision of subsea systems engineering and project management along with subsea Christmas trees, production and intervention control systems, manifolds, flow-line connection systems, installation support and associated spares are done in the United Kingdom and also integrated into the FPSOs in Korean yards.
Fabrication, assembly and testing of manifolds and associated structures are done mostly by Norwegian firms while the contract for the umbilicals, flow lines, risers and oil loading terminal activities are executed by Italian contractors.
The commissioning and start-up of the subsea umbilicals; flow lines and risers connecting the subsea wells to the FPSO, along with the oil-loading terminal, consisting of an offloading buoy and offloading lines and part of the FPSO anchoring system are done in Nigeria with the assistance of foreign companies.