Fenog canvasses fair treatment for indigenous oil firms

Written by DAYO OKETOLA.

Fenog Nigeria Limited, an indigenous provider of Horizontal Directional Drilling technology in the Nigeria's oil and gas industry, is canvassing for a fair treatment for indigenous oil companies in the award of oil and gas contracts in the country.

The General Manager of the Company, Mr. Chukwudi Uwakwe, urged International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria to encourage local operators by considering them for more contracts and ensuring fair treatment for them.

This, he said, would buoy the local content drive of the government.

Uwakwe made this call on the heels of a major milestone by the company following the laying of 24" pipes across 2.82-kilometre ObOb/Kwale River in Delta State for Nigeria Agip Oil Company to boost gas supply and distribution.

The project, which was completed in January 2014, was carried out with the aid of two HDD rigs-PD 250 and PD500.

In view of this, Uwakwe said, "We at Fenog are carrying the flag of local content policy of the government because no company in Nigeria and even in the whole world can do this kind of project for now.

"A 24-inch by 2.82-kilometre river crossing is a challenging work and Fenog is showing an example to all Nigerian companies that we have the capacity and we are equally encouraging them to come up and build the capacity to train Nigerians because this job was done by Nigerians and it was 100 per cent done by Fenog Nigeria Limited.

"We are using this medium to tell the Federal Government to encourage local companies so that they can come up with standards that can promote the local content policy."

Specifically, Uwakwe appealed to the government to ensure a fair treatment of the local players in the industry.

He said, "Let me use this opportunity to tell the Federal Government to consider the local companies first before their foreign counterparts in the scheme of things in the industry. That is my appeal because if we work and execute a project, the money will be used to develop Nigeria, but if foreign companies get the contract, they will only pay salaries and take the money to their countries."

He said the company, in 2010, deployed its two newly acquired PD 250 HDD rigs to fix a major component of the Escravos/Warri Gas Pipeline Project – Escravos River Crossing – initiated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Joint Venture.

Probably impressed by the performance of Fenog in the NNPC/Chevron's job in the Escravos river crossing, the management of NAOC challenged Fenog to send gas pipelines across the Kwale end to the ObOb end of the river, a distance measuring 2.82 kilometres.

On the significance of the project, Uwakwe said, "The significance of this project is that it is a trunkline to convey gas from Kwale flow station to ObOb Gas Plant and to Bonny LNG and beyond. So, it is an economic value line that Agip has put in place to ensure that gas is convened from Kwale to ObOb Gas Station to LNG."

The Executive Director, Fenog, Mr. Mathew Tonlagha, said, "We are not getting a fair share yet as the leading Nigerian contractor in HDD by way of patronage. What keeps our head above the water is the fact that we own the equipment.

"Owning equipment is actually a success because a client will always want to give the job to someone who owns equipment. And if you own equipment, the task of executing the job is cheaper than when you go outside to rent the equipment.

"We are pleading with the IOCs, Shell, Chevron and the likes of them to encourage us because they are actually not encouraging us at all."

Source

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