Ebenezer Adurokiya writes on the recently concluded three-day seminar organised by Nigeria Oil & Gas (NOG) in Abuja which ended with an award presented to Fenog Nigeria Ltd as the best Indigenous Company of the Year in the Oil and Gas sector.
AT this year's edition were local and international decision makers in the oil and gas sector as well as distinguished speakers, companies and exhibitors from the entire oil and gas value chain.
The dinner party, which was held at the swimming pool side of prestigious Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, on March 19, was to mark the end of the 2014 edition of the seminar of the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG), a forum of the who-is-who in the oil and gas industry.
The calibre of dignitaries at the event underscored its significance.
Comfortably present at the occasion were captains of oil and gas industry led by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu, President Board of Trustees, CWC Group, Mr Alirio Parna; Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, NNPC, Mr Bernard Oti; Group Executive Director, Gas, NNPC, Dr David Ige; Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mr Insulla Massimo; representative of the Managing Director of Shell Petroluem Development Company (SPDC), Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, who is also the company's Finance Director, Nigeria and Gabon; Mr Guy Jonssens; Director, Sahara Energy, Chief Tonye Cole; a member of the board of NNPC, Alhaji Abdullah Bukar and his wife, Hajiya Rakiya Bukar; Executive Director, Fenog Nigeria Limited (FNL), Mr Mathew Tonlagha; Chief Executive Officer, Marine Platforms, Taofeek Adegbite; General Manager, Material, NAPIMS, Mr Luke Anele and Managing Director, ARCO Petrochemical Company, Mr Alfred Okoigun, among other leading players in the nation's oil and gas industry.
Not left out of the intellectual conviviality were other major players in the finance and banking sector. This set of dignitaries was led by the Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Phillips Oduoza.
Fenog was notedly awarded as the Indigenous Company of the Year in the Oil and Gas sector by Nigerian Oil & Gas and Director, Gas, TOTAL, Mr Bunmi Obembe, presented the plaque for the award to an excited Executive Director of the company, Mr Mathew Tonlagha, amid admiration by bigwigs in the industry.
Why Fenog? NOG said the indigenous company was accorded the recognition above all others for its "innovation and excellence" in the oil and gas industry.
Characteristic of a typical Nigerian, Mr Tonlagha dedicated the award first to God and then to President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Deziani Alison-Madueke, describing the duo "as unrepentant supporters of local content in the oil industry."
According to him, the support and encouragement of the president and the minister propelled local companies to strive for excellence in a sector hitherto dominated by foreign players.
Tonlagha, who also eulogized the NNPC for its immense support for the growth of local content in the industry, described the Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigetian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, as " a great mentor and motivator of Fenog" in the quest to attain greater heights and compete favourably with foreign players.
"The IOCs, especially Shell, Chevron, NAOC (Agip), Total and others have done so well to encourage the indigenous oil and gas companies. We thank them for their support and encouragement but they can do better and they can do more.
"We cannot also underestimate the roles of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, especially its Executive Secretary, Mr Ernest Nwapa, in the breakthrough recorded by indigenous oil firms, including Fenog. We are very grateful to the board and other critical stakeholders in the oil and gas industry," Tolangha added.
Earlier at the seminar proper, Fenog was in the lips of everyone. Beside the award, the company's stand at the exhibition of NOG's seminar was a centre of attraction and a beehive of activities. Participants trooped to the stand to get briefings about its success story during the three-day seminar.
Besides, officials of the company also distinguished themselves in the course of the seminar. Remarkably interesting was the presentation by Fenog's Engineering Manager, Mr Osimen Iruansi, in his paper entitled, "Pipeline Protection by CHDD Installation," which drew a lot of accolades from participants.
On his part, Fenog's General Manager, Mr Chukwudi Uwakwe, also took the participants by the storm during a panel discussion on "Reviewing the Successes of the Nigerian Content Act at the End of its Third Year and Examining Necessary Next Steps." His contribution drew an applause from the participants.
Meanwhile, sources within the organising committee of the NOG seminar said Fenog was capped with another feather because of the giant strides it had recorded in the oil and gas industry. Being a pioneer user of CHDD rigs, Fenog was said to have integrated with the governments and other stakeholders in the task of eliminating sharp practices associated with crude oil, especially oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Stakeholders in the industry were said to be impressed by Fenog's creative and innovative drive to curtail the phenomenal crude oil thieving.
The company is believed to have acquired seven CHDD rigs in the categories of PD 150, 250, 350 and 500 as well as an Offshore and Deep Water Barge (Akpevweoghene), with the capacity to lay pipes from 2" to 60" offshore/deepwater in order to sustain its innovative local content strides and ride over its contemporaries.
The latest of the HDD technology acquired by the company, as gathered, is PD 350 HHD rig which was designed to Fenog's management specifications by the German manufacturers. Besides its installed drilling capacity, PD 350 HDD rig has other inherent values over PD500 HDD rig.
According to Tolangha, "PD350 HDD rig is different because we call it a versatile rig. Apart from the normal drilling which every other rig can do, it is also used for pulling, pushing, thrust-boring, tunneling and it has the ability to grab and push and overcome any force.
"The operation of PD 350 HDD rig is all-encompassing. It is the first of its kind in the whole world. We (FENOG) told the manufacturers what they would do for us and they came up with it and it is the latest of the HDD technology," Tolangha boasted.
Undoubtedly, with the CHDD rigs, Fenog has recorded several milestones in underground pipelaying to take the crude pipelines from the prying eyes of economic saboteurs.
It was gathered that the latest of the breakthrough was recorded in March 13 this year, when the company successfully laid 20 pipes across 3.49 kilometre river in the ongoing Amukpe/Escravos pipeline project awarded by an oil major.
Within six weeks, it was gathered that Fenog coasted home satisfactory execution of the project, even though the company had earlier set previous landmark records in the laying of 24" pipes across the 1.7-kilometre Escravos River in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State in a project awarded by the American energy giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and 24" pipes across 2.82-kilometre/ObOb Kwale River in Delta State for Agip Nigeria Oil Company (NAOC).
Fenog, which began its operation in 1992 when it was incorporated, had executed other selected jobs which had earned the company the confidence of the industry. Such projects also included the expansion of Escravos-Lagos pipeline project, Phase I construction of treatment plant and water storage facilities in Oporoza community in Delta State and piling of Abiteye Surge Oil Vessel.
With this year's seminar gone and it's memory still lingering, Fenog is said to be poised to keep sustaining its pace and drive in the oil and gas sector through continuous investment in diverse Nigerian content initiatives and in the transference of skills and Nigerian content developmental drive.