The Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor has expressed the oil giant’s determination to take the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the protracted 350 million barrels Bonga North deepwater field as well as the HI and HA gas fields in 2024.
Okunbor said the projects would benefit the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the national economy.
The Country Chair disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during the Shell Nigeria’s management meeting with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB)’s management.
He, however, clarified that the planned divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) would not affect any contract entered by the company, while the major projects in the pipeline, especially the gas projects would be developed under Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo).
According to a statement by the corporate communications arm of NCDMB, the oil major had come to seek the support of the NCDMB to achieve accelerated development of the three major oil and gas projects notably Bonga North deepwater and HI and HA, which are conventional gas projects.
He added that the SPDC divestment was a business realignment and would only affect the shareholding structure of the company, while the operations and staff would remain intact.
Speaking specifically on the new projects, Okunbor indicated that the Bonga North project would be a tie-back project that would unlock about 350 million barrels of oil equivalent and extend the life of Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) for another 15 years.
He mentioned that the company had made appreciable progress in the plans for HI and HA projects which would supply 50 per cent of the gas required for the successful operation of the Train 7 project currently being developed by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.
He underscored the need to develop the gas projects speedily, to avoid delaying the Train 7 operation date.
While thanking NCDMB for its support for the company’s various projects, Okunbor requested the Board to fast-track the approvals on the new projects to enable the projects to proceed to full execution.
He stated that the economics of the projects were challenging, making it imperative to carefully manage the expenditures for in-country and out-of-country scopes of the project.
The country chair also congratulated the executive secretary of NCDMB on his appointment and conveyed the enduring support of Shell Companies in Nigeria to the delivery of the Board’s mandate and continued performance as the number one federal agency in the country.
In her comments, the Managing Director of SNEPCo, Mrs. Elohor Aiboni reiterated the company’s plan to develop the Bonga North project as fast as possible, to increase the country’s crude oil production.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Felix Ogbe, confirmed that the board would sustain its momentum in expeditious consideration and approvals of oil and gas projects, by meeting the timelines set by the Service Level Agreement (SLA) instituted for shortening the contracting cycle for oil and gas projects.
He charged international oil and gas companies in Nigeria to meet the thresholds set by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act in their projects, while being transparent with their project plans submitted to the Board.
He advocated that oil and gas projects should be executed with a win-win mindset, whereby NCDMB is able to meet its mandate and create opportunities for local oil service companies to get engaged and employ Nigerians.