NNPC, PETAN partner on certification for oil industry operators

…Says local firms have capacity to build, manage refineries
Oscarline Onwuemenyi
04 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Houston, Texas – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will partner with the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) to check the rising incidence of companies without experiences executing contracts they do not have competences for in Nigeria’s petroleum industry through certification of skills.

PETAN Chairman, Mr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, who disclosed this during a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, in Houston Texas, said such certifications will be done through a collaboration between the two organisations.

Okoroafor said, “PETAN came up with this seal of competence and quality as a way of qualifying service providers in-country because with the cash squeeze, access to capital is to tight, investments are low, projects are being deferred.

“So the best way to move the industry forward to is to make sure that competent Nigerians are doing the services to ensure that the little reserves we have in terms of foreign exchange are not taken offshore, but are being retained in-country to create jobs for our teeming population.”

He added that the move is also a part of the industry’s low cost strategies to deliver quality services, adding that “without the PETAN seal of quality and competence the industry cannot move forward.”

According to him, “With this low oil price regime, we don’t want people to be making mistakes at the job sites, so the PETAN seal of quality and competence is to make sure that when you say you are a service provider, you have competence in terms of services; you have competence in terms of personnel and you can deliver that service satisfactorily with the highest level of safety, quality and quantity.”

The PETAN boss further noted that indigenous oil firms have the capacity to build and operate onshore oil refineries in the country.

Speaking earlier in a paper titled: “Exploring Nigerian Content in the Development of Modular Refineries”, also 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 maintained 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, swamp 100 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,” he said.

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.

“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 instrumentation, 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,” he said.

Okoroafor also said that the main objective of the skills certification is to ensure that the association has leverage on proven Nigerian companies in terms of services.

He noted that, “We are not asking for patronage; and we don’t want patronage. We just want the proven and competent Nigerian companies to be given the jobs to do. When you have competent Nigerian companies who can do the job but you give the jobs out then it is criminal.

“In PETAN, we have companies that can deliver values from the wellheads to the tank farms and the entire value chain. So we are not lacking in capacity or capability, it is our responsibility to ensure jobs are given to proven in-country capabilities and capacities because the days of giving contracts to briefcase companies are over.

“Once this happens, it will translate to a lot of jobs creation for our teaming population, it will create a lot of entrepreneurs in-country and that is the best way to fast track development in Nigeria.”

He argued further that “PETAN members are very serious companies, who borrowed money, trained personnel, bought equipment and we will keep on pushing the bars, which is why PETAN is embarking on certifying companies in Nigeria.

“So once you have the PETAN seal, you can work anywhere in the world because you will meet all international standards to deliver that service – whether logging, engineering, fabrication, pipelines, seismic etc. once you have that seal, you can deliver that service.”

Okoroafor explained that the criteria for the seal of certification are being worked out between National Petroleum Investments Management Services, NAPIMS, the investments arm of the NNPC and PETAN.

“We are going to publish the criteria for all to see. For instance, if you are delivering wire logging, the criteria for certification will be for equipment, personnel. So the issue of briefcase companies winning contracts they never bidded for is over,” he said.

He added that NAPIMS is desirous to grow in-country capacity, “but to grow the right capacities with proven Nigerian companies.”

About the Author