By John Ikani
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has assured that patronage and deployment of indigenous oil and gas service companies would remain of strategic importance to take advantage of the massive development of operational capabilities since the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act over the years.
Speaking on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the load-out ceremony of OML 100 skided ejector package, fabricated and assembled by an indigenous company, Wilkriss Nigeria Limited for residual gas recovery, the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at the NCDMB, Alhalji Abdulmalik Halilu expressed the Board’s excitement to see companies make significant breakthroughs in the fabrication space.
He commended TotalEnergies and its Joint Venture (JV) partners, sponsors of the project for providing an opportunity for capacity utilisation by an indigenous company, just as he lauded Wilkriss Limited for the top-notch quality in project execution.
According to the NCDMB Director, the project was significant in two respects. “First is the output, which is the skid itself. Being able to deliver the right quality on schedule.”
He pointed to metrics he had observed, which he described as quite good, noting that it is very positive for Monitoring and Evaluation. The other leg, he explained, is “where we try to evaluate the outcomes in terms of jobs created on the back of this project.”
Halilu stated further “We will be interested in all those metrics: we want to see the manhours covered, the skills developed, probably new capabilities – some of the equipment that you didn’t have before but because of the opportunity that TotalEnergies has provided, you’re able to acquire them.”
He advised the company to update its profile on NCDMB’s Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGIC-JQS) platform as soon as possible “to show that this is additional capability that you have acquired.”
The NCDMB Director also counselled the Management of Wilkriss Limited to sustain the quality assurance attainments already made as evidenced by “all the ISO certifications from HSE to Environment and to Quality Management,” as the company moves to its new site “because that is what counts when we talk about technical evaluation.”
Halilu revealed that “NCDMB has conducted a baseline census in fabrication yards and we’ve seen a major trend in terms of burst and boom era, in terms of capacity utilisation. So we try as much as possible to give premium attention to fabrication yards to ensure that there’s a healthy pipeline of opportunities for them to sustain the operations of the yards.”
On the wider significance of the Wilkriss breakthrough with the Skided Ejector Package for the oil and gas industry, he explained: “We know Nigeria has signed on to net zero carbon emission by 2060…. So this project which seeks to reduce gas flaring – ultimately that means carbon emission – is part of the global momentum we have today around decarbonisation and net zero.”
The other bit that is of interest, according to him, is “the fact that the Skided Ejector Package helps with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas feedstock. Being able to unlock the availability of feedstock is very important. It’s no point completing Train-7 of the NLNG and everybody is struggling with supply of feedstock.”
In his concluding remarks, he urged the company to think of how staff who worked on such a sophisticated project would remain engaged in operations in the industry so the knowledge is retained and improved upon, just as the company itself must strive to build capacities as new technologies emerge.
An Executive Director of Wilkriss, Engr. Naaba Umahi thanked the NCDMB boss and the Management for honouring the invitation to the Load-out Ceremony, which he said marked a major milestone not only for the company but the industry and the country, given that a project of such magnitude could be executed in-country with a workforce, which included 6-G-certified welders, that was 100 per cent Nigerian.
While commending TotalEnergies for being “very supportive” at all stages of the project, he said both companies “were able to agree on materials that could be procured locally.” On the scope of work carried out, he pointed out that it was from steel cutting to completion, and that there was no rework at any stage. Functionality tests, pressure tests, and related activities were all handled by company staff, without a hitch.
Among the challenges Wilkriss faced initially was the review of project design, an undertaking and experience he said were rewarding as they brought out the best in their engineers, yielding what turned out to be process improvement.
Engr. Umahi, who doubles as Deputy Managing Director of Wilkriss, assured the NCDMB that the company would strive to build capacities for new technologies on a continuous basis.