Oando’s OES RESPECT Rig set for Contracting Opportunities


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Oando Energy Services, OES in realizing one of the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 which supports acquisition of drilling assets by indigenous drilling contractors in the interest of sustainable development in the Nigerian oil and gas industry has refurbished and upgraded a state-of-the-art swamp rig christened OES RESPECT in readiness for drilling operations.

Delivering a keynote address recently at a meeting with top management of Oando Group and Drilling Managers of IOCs during a joint visit on board the rig at Onne in Port Harcourt, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Ernest Nwapa lauded the company for investing in such an asset that has joined the Nigerian fleet. Engr. Nwapa expressed government’s commitment through the Act to encourage Nigerians to own assets to further boost the economy of the nation. “When any Nigerian company owns an asset like this, we must all make an effort to ensure that asset is utilized,” he added.
According to the Executive Secretary, the challenges facing the oil and gas industry today and the attendant proactive approach of the various arms of government to manage scarce resources, keep Nigerians working to make sure that assets bought by Nigerians do not get taken away by default in loan repayment thereby losing supporting businesses around those assets. He affirmed the belief that when operators are brought to assets owned by Nigerians to physically see what impact the asset can make, it changes their perception of Nigerian companies.

Engr. Nwapa frowned at the ugly trend whereby a facility like this is ready to work but not finding work to do and charged IOCs to remove the constraints thereby asking service operators to point to the Board what is to be done to remove such constraints in order to pay sufficient attention to the intricacies of managing assets in Nigeria. The Nigerian Content Chieftain, however, dropped the hint that guidance and advice is needed from service operators on what role the Board should play to help operators that need these assets, have them deployed even if at initial stage to avert an embarrassing scenario where a Nigerian asset will cause the failure of another Nigerian company due to inadequate management of assets.

In his remarks, the CEO, Oando Group Plc., Mr. Omamofe Boyo expressed the company’s appreciation in hosting the meeting on the auspices of the Board having Drilling Managers of IOCs in attendance. Mr. Boyo enumerated the achievements of the Oando Group which is seen as the golden eyeball in terms of the privatization policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He mentioned that the company aspires to see itself as a continuous beacon in showcasing proper Nigerian Content Development and institution in Nigeria whose core focus is investing in people, processes, assets and safety in the oil and gas industry.

He stated further that OES RESPECT is one of the four rigs in its kitty as three others are currently being deployed for Shell and Agip JV operations in swamp locations. The Group’s Chief Executive reflected on swamp areas to be the nation’s major income earner for about five decades now before the deep offshore PSC began. “Now with all the challenges we have in the land and swamp, there is a tendency for these areas to be neglected, there is a tendency for the IOCs to depart from these areas and leave them fallow,” he narrated. Mr. Boyo indicated that it is up to Nigerian Content and Nigerian companies to ensure the resources that are in the land and swamp are not underdeveloped, which is why partnership with the Board is absolutely important towards having a formidable alliance.

Responding, the MD, OES, Mr. Bamidele Badejo was delightful on the imminent availability of OES RESPECT to carry out much needed drilling and completion services in line with the increasing demand for such assets. He narrated that the Rig, before it was refurbished and upgraded, was formally owned by Transocean and named “Searex VI”. To ensure continued drilling operations and in demonstration of the Federal Government’s directive to increase oil production and reserves, Oando Energy Services purchased the asset with funds from Nigerian banks.

“Following the acquisition, despite numerous attempts to secure a long term contract for the rig, efforts proved futile due to interested operators’ requests for an upgrade of the existing equipment to higher specifications,” he explained. According to the MD, OES in 2011 commissioned a $63million refurbishment and upgrade of OES RESPECT in a bid to place the Rig on contract. He described that the project was successfully concluded in October 2013 and the rig fully commissioned and certified by the American Bureau of Shipping, (ABS) prior to departing the shipyard to Nigeria in November 2013.

Mr. Badejo concluded that OES remains assured that the Board’s implementation strategy on Rig Acquisition and Ownership by Nigerian companies will further deepen the aspirations of indigenous participation in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry and hopes the Board will intervene in the contracting process in order to ameliorate the financial exposure to OES as it relates to the acquisition, refurbishment and upgrade of OES RESPECT.
He commended the Executive Secretary and the Board for the support so far enjoyed by OES with a renewed vista to work with NCDMB towards establishing a robust drilling services sector where indigenous companies are recognized for delivering world class projects in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Highpoint of the meeting was an inspection of the rig by the Executive Secretary who led the NCDMB team, Drilling Managers of IOCs and top Management of Oando



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