Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has advised firms in the oil and gas industry to brace up for the full automation of operations at oil rigs.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said this in Port Harcourt, at the foundation laying ceremony of PE Energy Centre of Excellence at Trans Amadi Industrial Layout.
Wabote, after inspecting facilities under construction at the centre, noted that most players in the industry employ about 100 people in each rig today.
He, however, said with advancement in technology and trends in the industry, most rigs would run on full automation in about 10 to 15 years.
He, therefore, called on indigenous firms in the sector to brace up and prepare for the development so that they would not only remain relevant but also reap from the technological advancement.
He commended the management of PE Energy Limited for embarking of the automation and instrumentation aspect of operations, adding that the development was one of the achievement of local content in the oil and gas sector.
Wabote, attribute the resurgence of local industries to the policies of President Muhammadu Buhari whom he said was encouraging local industries.
“The president has been very clear in his commitment to create that environment for industrialisation, that vision for Nigerians, to believe in Nigerians and to make Nigerians realise that that they have more potentials than they can imagine. That is beginning to create some level of trust among the investors.
“In the past one month, we have opened more than 10 facilities in Lagos, Port Harcourt and elsewhere. It is because of that belief. It also fits well with our strategic growth plan that in 2027 we will have attained at least 70 per cent local content in the oil and gas sector.
“Don’t forget that when we started, it was less than five per cent. Of the $21 billion we spent annually in Nigeria, only about three per cent stayed in the country. Today, we have been able to plough back about 30 per cent.
“Our aspiration is to plough back 70 per cent in order to create jobs, create value, give Nigerians a sense of responsibility and enhance the industrial base of the country. That is the overall objective,” he said.
He added that the facility of PE Energy would create more jobs, retain resources in the country and also showcase the industry of Nigerians.
He also said, “Today, the borders are closed. It is also giving people an opportunity to invest in the agricultural sector. We started local content about 10 years ago and that has created that verve in Nigerians that they have a lot of opportunities in them.
“So, if this facility starts to run employing about 300 Nigerians and you multiply that by 10 and then you must also understand the indirect and induced effect of establishing a factory like this: there will be food vendors, transportation and hotels. So the effects will be enormous and Nigerians will feel it.”
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PE Energy Limited, Daere Akobo, in his address, said the company was committed to changing the business landscape of Rivers State and the country.
“We are a solution provider. We focus on automation and controls. In layman terms, we focus on what we call the five fingers. The first one is valve and actuation where we talk about control of fluid flow and all the instrumentation around the valve.
“We will also be doing integration on process equipment such as compressors, pumps, motors, early production facilities, mobile production facilities, and so on.
“We are also doing measurement solutions. This talks about measurement of gas and liquids. Here we are talking about the automation of the entire value chain around metering such as gas comotography, analyser system, analyser house and all the supervisory control systems.
“We also talking electrical and instrumentation. In all of these we are going to do two types of services; clinical and field servicers,” he added.