‘Indigenous firms have capacity for onshore oil refining’
Indigenous oil firms have the capacity to build and operate onshore oil refineries in the country, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), has said.
Chairman of PETAN, Bank Anthony Okoroafor, stated this in a paper titled: “Exploring Nigerian Content in the Development of Modular Refineries made available to The Guardian on Wednesday.
Essentially, he said that the introduction of the Nigerian Content Policy could help the country to retain an estimated $191 billion and create about 300,000 new direct job opportunities.
He described the initiative as the quantum of composite value added to or created in the Nigerian economy, through a systematic development of capacity and capabilities through the deliberate utilisation of Nigerian human and material resources and services in the country’s oil and gas industry.
Okoroafor insisted that it is illegal and criminal for foreign oil companies to get jobs in onshore and swamp when competent indigenous companies are available.
He said that the association is keen to achieve value added local content that gives values to Nigeria and Nigerians. “There is a Nigerian Content Law which states that onshore, swamp100 per cent of the jobs should be given to Nigerian companies. So any job that can be done by PETAN companies or by a competent Nigerian should not be given to somebody outside the country, it is criminal”.
According to him, where the capacity and capability exists in-country, such jobs should be given to Nigerian companies, pointing out that PETAN companies have the capacity and capability to fabricate facilities and even pipe coating.
Okoroafor noted that the 1,000-barrel capacity Niger Delta Refinery was built by Nigerians.
He said: “There are many components of a refinery. There is a tank farm that would have several storage tanks; we have storage tanks for crude, and storage tanks for finished products. There are pipelines instrumentations, civil engineering works, metering, and all these components can be done by PETAN companies. So when you give these jobs to Nigerian companies, this money is going to reside in the country.