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Embrace R&D or go out of business, TotalEnergies warns indigenous coys

The Deputy General Manager- Nigeria Content of TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited, Cyprian Ojum has warned Nigerian indigenous oil and gas companies to adapt to current technologies or lose their business.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Energy Week in Abuja on the “R&D and Technology as an enabler for local content”, Ojum noted that with the current realities in the oil and gas industry R&D would play a key role going forward.

According to him, with the Nigerian oil and gas landscape going from land and swap to deep offshore, it is important that indigenous oil and gas companies embrace R&D.

He said: “Now if Nigerian indigenous companies don’t wake up, they will also be left in the midst of things because they will lack knowledge of where the oil and gas industry is going, which is deep offshore. So, we are catching up with offshore and when it goes deep offshore we are behind the time.

“We can’t do much without knowledge. So Nigerian indigenous companies that are here today, you need to get knowledge about offshore business because it’s not the same story with land and swamp. When you are deep offshore, the technology is different from land exploration. You are talking about seismic data gathering and processing, you are talking about FPSO. And field development is different. You are talking about drilling rigs on water which is quite a lot. Then the development, we are talking about subsea systems, you will be talking about riders; you will be talking about flow lines and all the pipelines that run underwater. We need to scale up our game in this regard and we can’t do it without proper research and development.

“Accelerated R&D today is the way for us to go in order to ensure the future of the Nigerian oil and gas industry in terms of Nigerian content. If you don’t go that way then you will go back to 2010.”

The TotalEnergies chief noted that it awards its jobs based on knowledge and competence saying that at various points several of its projects in the country have been handled by Nigerians. “With Total there is no discrimination,” he added.

For Amesh Amarmani, Director, Pacegate Energy $ Resource Limited (PEARL), TotalEnergies by what he has done is giving local companies the opportunity to step up and be active players in the industry.

According to him, Nigerian indigenous companies need to take advantage of the opportunities that are provided by the IOC to improve capacity.

He therefore stressed the need for regulatory bodies to step up their supervision roles so that Nigerian indigenous oil and gas companies can be competitive.

Daere Akobo, who is the Group Chief Executive Officer of PANA Holdings, while calling on the government to ensure stricter enforcement of the local content act.

He also added that the regulators and industry players should begin to ensure the automation of the entire process in the industry.

“There should be a level playing ground for every player in the industry. Domestication is important but patronage is even more important.

“Automation of the entire value chain will help the industry grow,” he further said.

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