The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has donated three geosciences workstations to the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, University of Ibadan, Oyo State and Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Adamawa State.
The workstations are equipped with nine OpendTect Software licences, worth $200,000, but were provided free by Danvic Petroleum Nigeria, with a commitment to upgrade them when necessary.
The presentation ceremony was held at NAOC’s head office in Abuja on Tuesday and was attended by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah, who represented the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote.
The Managing Director of NAOC, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo, in his remarks at the event, stated that the initiative is part of the company’s support and collaboration with Nigerian universities to promote research and development.
He described the donation as “another critical step in pursuit of this collaboration and in furtherance of ENI’s commitment to support the government of Nigeria in closing identified skill gaps in the oil and gas sector, promote capacity building and local content development.”
In addition to the donation, the company organised an intensive training programme for 15 senior lecturers drawn from the three universities on the use of the workstations and the OpendTect Software.
Fiorillo added that the capacity building initiative is “to build the capacity of geosciences lecturers who will pass on the knowledge to their students, improve the quality of young geosciences graduates in Nigeria and close the gaps between the teaching of geosciences in the universities and the needs of the Nigerian oil and gas industry in those specific areas.
“It is also envisaged that the programme would help reduce the cost of training and re-training of employable Nigerian graduates by the oil and gas industry and assist in the standardization of geosciences practice in Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB commended NAOC for fulfilling its promise to develop Research and Development in the Nigerian oil and gas space.
He underscored NAOC’s research initiatives, especially the 3-5 years funding, training, and equipping research initiative on deep offshore hydrate management. “We will continue to encourage your company in this regard, expecting that the outcome will be positive and economically viable.”
Obah also advised the universities to use the workstations diligently, so as to derive maximum benefit from them and impart knowledge to the students.
He charged NAOC to deliver on its promise to collaborate in developing the research findings of universities selected at its Indigenous Technology and Universities Collaborative Research Forum & Exhibition held in Port Harcourt in 2017.
“This beautiful initiative should not be allowed to go cold, as we have identified that the only way we can continue to function well in the global space is to actively partake in research and innovative activities.”
The Director noted that the NCDMB R&D Council was constituted in October 2018 to advise the Board on matters related to the R&D.
He stated that “with the inauguration of the R&D Council and the creation of an R&D Fund by NCDMB, we hope that we will be able to provide some interesting results from the upscaling work that is currently being mentored by us, during the next NCDMB R&D Fair and Conference.”
The Managing Director of Danvic Petroleum and President of the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), Dr Mayowa Afe described the NAOC’s initiative as the bedrock of Nigerian Content, which would improve the quality of graduates from Nigerian universities and make them employable by the industry.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka stated that the assistance by NAOC would help bridge the technology gap between universities and the oil and gas industry. “This will impact generations of graduates,” he added.