Domestic Players and the Sustainable Development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry

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INTRODUCTIONThe Nigerian oil and gas sector is the primary source of revenue for the government and contains an industry value of roughly $20 billion. It is Nigeria’s main source of export and foreign exchange earnings and as well a significant employer of labour. A combo of the crash in crude oil cost to under $50 per barrel and post-election restiveness at Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region caused the declaration of force majeure by many international oil companies (IOC) functioning in Nigeria. The announcement of force majeure led to shutdown of operations, abandonment or selling of interests in oil fields and laying off of employees by foreign and native oil companies. Although the above occurrences contributed to the haul in the Industry, perhaps, the major cause is that the unfruitful presence of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) as the dominant participant in the Business (possessing about 55 to 60 percent interest in the OMLs).While, it’s unfortunate that many IOC’s playing in the Industry divested their interests in petroleum mining leases (OMLs) and oil prospecting leases (OPLs) given to them by the FGN; on the flip side, it’s a positive development that native companies acquired the divested interests in the affected OMLs and OPLs. Hence, domestic investors and companies (Nigerians) now have the opportunity and significant part to play in the sustainable growth and development of oil and gas industry.This paper x-rays the roles due to Nigerians and the extent that they have successfully discharged . This paper finds that the main factor limiting domestic investors from effectively playing their role in the sustainable development of the industry is the presence of the FGN from the business and its inability to meet its own responsibilities as a dominant player in the Industry.The functions domestic investors play in promoting sustainable growth in the petroleum and gas industry include:Oil and gas jobs and services are capital intensive. Hence, financial ability is essential to drive expansion in the business. Given that the increased involvement of national investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas business, of course, they’ve been saddled with the responsibility to provide the capital required to drive industry growth.At 2012, Nigerians had acquired from IOC’s about 80 of their OMLs/OPLs (30% of the licences) and about 30 of the petroleum marginal fields awarded in the business. Another Nigeria firm, Eko Petrochem & Refining Company Limited, is also project a $250 million modular refinery project. From the midstream sector of the business, there are many indegenous owned transport vessels and storage facilities; and in the downstream industry, domestic investors are actively engaged in the marketing and sale of refined crude petroleum and its by-products throughout the filling stations situated across Nigeria, which filling channels are largely owned and financed by Nigerians.Capital is also needed to finance training and education of Nigerians in the several sectors of the Industry. Education and training are vital in filling the gaps in the nation’s domestic technical and technological know-how. Thankfully, Nigeria now has associations solely for gas and oil industry related research. Furthermore, native oil and gas companies, in partnership with IOC’s, today undertake parts of training for Nigerians in various regions of the business.However, funding from the national investors is not adequate compared to the fiscal needs of the Industry. This inadequacy isn’t a part of financial incapacity of domestic investors, but due to the overbearing presence of the FGN through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a participant in the industry; in addition to regulatory bottlenecks such as pump price regulations that inhibit the retention of capital from the downstream industry.Oil and gas jobs are often highly technical and complicated. Because of this, there’s a high demand for technically proficient professionals. To sustain the development of the industry, domestic investors need to fill the potential gap through training, hands-on experience in the implementation of business projects, management or operation of existing facilities and obtaining the necessary international certifications like ISO certification 2015 and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) certificate. There are currently domestic businesses which undertake projects such as mining and production of crude petroleum, engineering procurement construction, drilling, manufacture, installations, petroleum by-products shipping and logistics, offshore fabrication-vessel construction and repair, welding and craft sales and marketing. Lately, Nigerians engaged in the in-country fabrication of six modules of the Total Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (PSO) vessel and integration of the modules on the FPSO in the SHI-MCI lawn.Specialized Capacity and Move Technological capacity in the gas and oil industry is mostly related to managerial competence in project management and compliance, the assurance of international quality standards in job implementation and operational maintenance. Hence to build technological proficiency starts with in-country evolution of management capacities to grow the pool of skilled personnel. A specific research found that there is a huge knowledge gap between national companies and IOC’s. And’that indigenous oil firms suffered from basic absence of excellent management, restricted compliance with international quality standards, and inferior preventive and operational maintenance attitudes, which lead to poor upkeep of oil facilities.’To effectively play their role in enhancing the technological capability in the Industry, domestic firms began partnering with IOC’s in project construction and execution and operational maintenance. For example, as stated earlier, domestic firms partnered with an IOC in the effective completion of in-country manufacture of six modules of the Complete Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel and integration of the modules around the FPSO at the SHI-MCI lawn. Other instances include: the first assembled-in-Nigeria Subsea Horizontal Xmas Tree and the fabrication; installation of subsea equipment like flexible flowlines, umbilicals and jumpers on Agbami Stage 3 project; Setup of 32km 24″ Sonam into Okan NWP pipeline; the fabrication and load-out of the Okan PRP Topsides; Bridge Fabrication of Okan PRP jacket, among others.It’s common knowledge that since the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act at 2010, all projects executed across the businesses of the Business have had the active involvement of Nigerians. The Act ensured an increase in technical and technological capabilities, but also a slow process of technology transfer in the IOC’s to Nigerians. The Act in its Schedule reserved special Company services to domestic businesses. The speed of involvement as well as the quality of services of Nigerians has increased tremendously with the result that there are currently many domestic oil servicing firms.

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