Shell, Agip to fabricate 50% topsides in Nigeria – NCDMB

Two International Oil Companies (IOCs) – Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) – have concluded plans to fabricate and integrate over 50 percent of the topsides of their projects’ floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in Nigeria.

This is targeted at expanding and deepening local content in the nation’s oil and gas industry. According to Nigerian Content Development Board (NCDMB), the projects are the Zabazabadeepwater project being executed by NAE in partnership with SNEPCO on Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 and the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) deepwater project being developed by SNEPCO.

NCDMB disclosed in a statement that indications emerged on Friday that major contractors bidding for Zabazaba submitted competitive costs and concrete plans to fabricate and integrate over 50 percent of the FPSO topsides in-country. It stated that the technical and commercial evaluations of bids for the Zabazaba main packages have been finalised by the NCDMB and NAE and the submissions met the aspiration of maximizing local content at the most competitive cost.

The Board indicated that also stated that the packages included the FPSO units, subsea, installation and rigs. The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. SimbiWabote expressed optimism that the execution of Zabazaba would grow Nigerian Content and impact the economy, much more than previous deepwater projects. He said the Board carried out detailed scoping of the project to ensure that the targets exceed the accomplishments achieved on Total’s Egina. Wabote said that for Egina, six FPSO topside modules were fabricated in-country across some yards and will be integrated when the FPSO arrives at the SHI-MCI yard in Lagos later this year.

This will be the first time in the history of Nigeria. He also stated that the entire approvals and evaluations for Zabazaba were completed in 14 months, setting a record in the industry as against the 24/36 months project cycle time that bedevilled the sector for many years and contributed to the high cost of projects. “It has taken just 14 months since NAE approached the Board with their Nigerian Content Plan. NAE and NCDMB worked closely and went through the standard contracting process, including invitation to tender, clarifications, technical and commercial bid evaluations and facility audits. We completed the process and issued our final report on August 30. “This is confirmation that NCDMB does not delay projects and we can achieve the six-month contract cycle target if operators comply with set directives.” Similarly, (SNEPCO) is set to issue bid documents this month for the supply of the FPSO vessel for the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) deepwater project. The bid documents will set out the company’s plans for in-country fabrication of half of the topsides of the FPSO and their integration.