By Adedapo Adesanya
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said plans are on the way to increase the contribution of the oil and gas sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to about 15 per cent from the current eight per cent.
The spokesman of the DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said in the statement on Monday that the head of the agency, Mr Sarki Auwalu, was working to align with the federal government’s commitment to reactivating all moribund oil and gas support facilities across the country.
Mr Auwalu said this was part of the government’s effort to increase domestic refining capacity and gas utilisation in order to curb unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.
He expressed dissatisfaction that facilities such as the Kaztec Engineering Limited Fabrication Yard, Ilase Village, Snake Island which was licensed to provide oil and gas services support by the DPR had not been operational since 2015 due to contractual issues.
Mr Auwalu noted that the critical equipment in the facility was currently not being utilised for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
The director said: “The industry depends on facilities like this to actualise their investment because it is like a support system for the oil and gas sector.
“Our visit here is that we see an edifice that we licensed and it is dormant, but we are going to make it active because we see it as an opportunity to grow the oil and gas industry.
“We have seen an opportunity we can use to support our gas utilisation, penetration and expansion programme.
“We have issued several licenses for modular refineries that need fabrications. We cannot allow this kind of facility to remain under-utilised.”
Mr Auwalu further said some of the fabrication jobs that could be done at the facility were being shipped to China which was not good for Nigeria’s economy.
The Kaztec Engineering Limited Fabrication Yard facility became dormant in 2015 after its main contractor, Addax Petroleum declared a force majeure on its operations.
It is a clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties.
The facility included a Dive Support Vessel, Pipe Laying Vessel and an already constructed Jacket which could be used for oil and gas Operations.
The facility when operational had 2,000 direct employees and 7,000 indirect employees.