By GLADYS JOHNSON
Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) played host to well over 45 indigenous service firms that participated in the just-concluded SNEPCo Nigeria Content Exhibition in Lagos, where the firms showcased their capacities and capabilities to regulators and major players in the industry.
The exhibition with the theme: “Made in Nigeria, Fit For the Future”, brought to fore in-country manufacturing opportunities and competitive local alternatives in the oil and gas industry and provided a platform for knowledge sharing among the exhibitors, Shell staff, contractors and other key industry stakeholders.
In his opening remarks at the exhibition, Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, said the company’s local content strategy was built around the national framework as developed by the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board. “The strategy places strong emphasis on research and development, promotion of local manufacturing, indigenous asset ownership, and human capacity development.”
“Shell recognizes the significant role that a viable and competitive manufacturing sector plays in the economic development of a country. Therefore, we actively seek opportunities to support and showcase strides made by Nigerian companies in the manufacturing of import-substituting goods and services, especially those required for oil exploration and production.” Ojulari added.
Furthermore, he cited some ongoing initiatives by the company to further support local capacity such as the collaboration with the University of Ibadan and University of Port Harcourt on research into synthetic base fluids for drilling operations using local raw materials. “This is expected to substitute imported fluids and stimulate industrial production,” he said.
Also, Simibi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, acknowledge the contributions of International Oil Companies to the improvement of standards of goods produced by local companies.
Wabote, who was represented by the company’s Director of Project, Tunde Adelana singled out Shell’s support to an indigenous company, NMT, to improve on its standards in the delivery of bolts, nuts and fittings used in the oil and gas industry. He therefore called on other multinationals to emulate Shell by making deliberate efforts to assist small local companies.
SNEPCo has been in the forefront of local capacity development and its Bonga Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel helped to create the first generation of Nigerian oil and gas engineers with deep water experience and stimulated the growth of support industries.
Recognizing the pioneering role of SNEPCo in Nigerian Content Development, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Rowland Ewubare, who was represented by NAPIMS’ Project Manager, Gas Division, Jubril Lawal, described Shell as the most consistent performer in the industry.
The annual exhibition has helped to provide market linkage for service companies in the industry.