TotalEnergies Reaffirms Commitment to Taking FID on Ubeta Project in 2024

TotalEnergies Reaffirms Commitment to Taking FID on Ubeta Project in 2024

Peter Uzoho

Hopes of new projects that would revitalise the Nigerian oil and gas industry and grow local content appear close to realisation as the Managing Director and Country Chair of TotalEnergies E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr. Matthieu Bouyer, has reconfirmed that the company would take the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Ubeta gas project in 2024

Bouyer also revealed that some big upstream projects on the horizon would follow shortly.

The managing director made the announcement when he led senior officials of the company to visit the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Felix Ogbe at the Board’s liaison office in Abuja, on Thursday.

A statement issued yesterday, by the NCDMB corporate communications department said the purpose of the visit was to congratulate the executive secretary on his appointment and reassure him of TotalEnergies’ commitment to continue developing oil and gas projects that would deliver value for the country, deepen Nigerian content, and yield returns to the company’s shareholders.

Bouyer, according to the statement, affirmed that the company has an outstanding track record in Nigeria and has developed key oil and gas projects in the last 10 years.

Some of the projects, he explained, were in deep water, as well as shallow water, adding that they created Nigerian Content Records, such as the fabrication of six modules of the Egina’s Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in Nigeria.

The Managing Director also confirmed that the company was determined to unlock new projects in Nigeria and solicited the continued cooperation of the NCDMB for accelerated Nigerian Content reviews and approvals.

He noted that the Ubeta project, which is located at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 58, is an onshore project and was designed to contribute gas to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant and meet other domestic gas supply needs. 

TotalEnergies’ Executive Director, JV Assets, Mr. Obi Imemba, had sometime last year, highlighted the progress being made on the Ubeta project in preparation for FID.

 “Already we have the site survey and basic engineering completed; we have the detailed engineering ongoing with Netco in Lagos.

“The preparations for the call for tenders are almost completed, so in the next few weeks we should have the adverts in the newspapers; and the site preparation activities will commence subsequently.

“We are looking at FID by the beginning of next year, that is the first quarter of 2024, and in terms of first gas, we are looking at end of 2026, and it will be a good time to support the NLNG Train-7 that will be coming on stream”, Imemba had stated.

However, Bouyer informed that other TotalEnergies’ projects on the horizon included the Preowei deep water project, which lies in OML 130, north of Egina field, with water depth of around 5,904 feet.

He assured that the company would engage closely with the NCDMB to achieve speedy development of the project, increase crude oil production for the country and revenue generation.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary assured the TotalEnergies E&P team that the Board would fast-track the approvals needed by the company to deliver speedily on its oil and gas projects.

While referring to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) instituted by the Board with industry’s key stakeholders for shortening the contracting cycle, the NCDMB helmsman promised that the Board would strive to improve the turnaround time for its approvals on projects.

He further conveyed the commitment of the NCDMB to create an enabling environment that would attract investments and new projects into the sector, thereby creating employment opportunities for youths and addressing insecurity in the polity, in line with President Bola Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

He charged the company to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, assuring that the Board would support all bankable oil and gas projects and grant accelerated approvals once they meet the specified Nigerian Content regulations.   

Speaking further, the Executive Secretary proposed the constitution of a technical working group (TWG) with representatives of NCDMB and TotalEnergies E&P.

 He recommended that the TWG could meet quarterly to proactively address pertinent issues that relate to the company’s projects and the Board’s expected roles.

Another issue discussed at the meeting included the commitment of TotalEnergies E&P to aggregate the Human Capacity Development (HCD) Fund on its projects and use it for strategic HCD initiatives as stipulated under the Guideline for Nigerian Content Human Capital Development Implementation Strategy, introduced by the NCDMB in June 2020. 

The ongoing reconciliation of TotalEnergies E&P’s remittance of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) was also deliberated upon.

Earlier same day, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) led by the Managing Director/ Vice-Chairman, Mr. Fabrizio Bolonoi also visited the Board’s liaison office.

The purpose of the visit was to congratulate the Executive Secretary on his appointment and convey the company’s willingness to support his leadership and develop new oil and gas projects in Nigeria.

In his response, the Executive Secretary conveyed the Board’s readiness to support operating oil and gas companies to develop their projects expeditiously. He hinted that the country was desirous of new oil and gas projects and all hands were on deck to realise the objective, which are critical to President Tinubu administration’s economic agenda.

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