Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe, ES/CEO NCDMB

More and more chief executive officers (CEOs) of firms doing business in the oil and gas industry are visiting the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe seeking for his support in the actualization of on-going projects in the country.

Ogbe became the helmsman of NCDMB following the removal of Engr. Simbi Wabote as the Executive Secretary by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu 9 months ahead of the expiration of his tenure.

Since his emergence last month, Ogbe has been receiving visitors from far and near in his bid to consolidate his position as the new CEO of the local content government regulatory authority in the oil and gas industry.

The latest in the series of visitors to NCDMB include the Managing Director and Country Chair Total Energies E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr. Matthieu Bouyer and the Managing Director/Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mr. Fabrizio Bolonoi.

Bouyer used the occasion of his visit to NCDMB to reconfirm that the company would take the final investment decision (FID) on the Ubeta gas project in 2024 while some other big projects would follow shortly.

His announcement rekindled hopes of new projects that would revitalize the Nigerian oil and gas industry and grow local content which appears to be dwindling following the rush removal of Wabote from office.

Bouyer who disclosed this when he led senior officials of the company to visit Ogbe at NCDMB Liaison Office in Abuja stated that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate the Executive Secretary on his appointment and reassure him of Total Energies’ 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.

He 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 and 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.

He 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 is designed to contribute gas to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant and meet other domestic gas supply needs.

According to Bouyer, other projects on the horizon include the Preowei deepwater project. The proposed project 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, increased crude oil production for the country and revenue.

Ogbe in his remarks assured the TotalEnergies E&P team that NCDMB 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, Ogbe promised that the Board would strive to improve the turnaround time for its approvals on projects.

He 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.

Ogbe proposed the constitution of a technical working group (TWG) with representatives of NCDMB and Total Energies 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.

The commitment of Total Energies 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 was also discussed at the meeting.

In the same vein, the ongoing reconciliation of Total Energies E&P’s remittance of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) was also deliberated upon.

On his part, Bolonoi stated that the purpose of NAOC visit to NCDMB was to congratulate Ogbe on his appointment and convey the company’s willingness to support his leadership and develop new oil and gas projects in Nigeria.

Ogbe in his response, 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 realize the objective, which are critical to President Tinubu administration’s economic agenda.


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