It was a joyous mood as stakeholders in the Oil Industry converged in Abuja, for the Escravos Gas-to-Liquid (EGTL) Awards Dinner to receive various awards, the ceremony brought together operators and regulators of the industry.
Prior to the Awards Dinner in Abuja, there had been several meetings across board held by stakeholders to resolve a lingering dispute on the EGTL project in 2019. These meetings eventually laid to rest the dispute with resolution in place.
The Escravos gas project is situated in the Niger Delta, it is an infrastructure that Nigeria and the International Oil Companies identify with. In 2002, an agreement between Chevron and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the construction of a 33, 000 barrels per day plant was reached. Thereafter, a dispute on the cost threatened the project for years as misunderstanding ensued among various stakeholders.
According to Bala Wunti, Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), “If we don’t resolve this dispute, it means we are going to stall investment, it means you are not able to produce the liquid that you are going to produce, in order words you cannot produce associated liquid.” He said most importantly, it will lead to job lose, and the license to operate within the community.
On his part, the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD) was of the view that “When activities kicked up again, there will be more jobs within the operational EGTL plant to create employment into the economy in broad sense, and also create further activities.” The GMD thanked stakeholders who were involved in the dispute resolution.
Notwithstanding, based on the resolution of the dispute, NNPC equity has increased from 20% to 60%, and the plant will domesticate 1.7 million litres per day of premium diesel which is 14% of Nigeria’s total consumption.
For the host community, the project will grow local capacity and boost infrastructural development as the main stakeholders have resolved to involve the community.
Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Engr. Sarki Auwalu, made it known that regulatory bodies including Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and DPR are to ensure compliance. In his words: “We have been given a task to take the products of the project to the market.”
While the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva asserted that “The industry only thrives on opportunities and activities. Without activities, jobs and opportunities cannot be created.”
However, the Minster has expressed confidence that 2020 will be a gas year, adding that the Federal Government will also work on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna natural gas pipeline, and a gas-based project will commence to augment gas infrastructures in the country.
Indeed, the Awards Dinner puts the end to the dispute with stakeholders expressing positive views.
The new Director of DPR Engr. Sarki Auwalu was presented with award of recognition including other personalities in the oil industry.