Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr Sarki Auwalu, says the Federal Government is committed to reactivating all moribund oil and gas support facilities across the country.
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.
Auwalu spoke on Monday during an assessment visit to Kaztec Engineering Limited Fabrication Yard, Ilase Village, Snake Island in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the facility which was licensed to provide oil and gas services support by the DPR had not been operational since 2015 due to contractual issues.
Auwalu noted that the critical equipment in the facility were currently were 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 opportunity we can use to support our gas utilisation, penetration and expansion programme. We have issued several licenses for modular refineries that needs fabrications. We cannot allow this kind of facility to remain under-utilised.
Auwalu 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.
He added that plans were also ongoing to double the contribution of the oil and gas sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product to about 15 per cent from the current eight per cent.
Earlier, Mr Mike Simpson, Engineering Director, Kaztec Engineering Limited, said the facility became dormant in 2015 after its main contractor, Addax Petroleum declared a force majeure on its operations.
Simpson said some of the unutilised equipment in the facility included a Dive Support Vessel, Pipe Laying Vessel and an already constructed Jacket which could be used for oil and gas Operations.
He said the facility when it was operational had 2,000 direct employees and 7,000 indirect employees which had direct impact on the host community and its environs.