The Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has inaugurated an offshore pipe-laying barge, christened 'Akpevweoghene', owned by an indigenous firm, FENOG Nigeria Limited, which is laying the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline.
Speaking during the recent inauguration in Warri, Delta State, the minister stated that the barge, which could lay pipes offshore from four inches to 36inches, was an indication that local content initiative was working for Nigerians.
She lauded FENOG Nigeria Limited, a wholly-indigenous company, for procuring and managing the vessel, which can carry over 300 people.
"I am extremely impressed with what I have seen here today at FENOG Nigeria Limited. This is one hundred percent indigenous Nigerian company that has got to the stage that it can actually procure and manage a vessel of this size that can carry over 300 people.
"With the kind of facilities that we have seen here today and that can actually lay pipes offshore from 4" to 36" and I think that is a something that is most commendable and it is also an obvious indication that Nigerian Content is actually working also and working for Nigerians. I want to commend FENOG because this is what we are hoping many other operators in the downstream service sector of the oil and gas Industry will begin to replicate," she said.
"As you may know, FENOG is actually laying one of our most critical gas pipelines-the Escravos/Lagos pipeline at this point in time and they have done a very commendable job at that as well. So, I must say that we are extremely encouraged by what we have seen and commissioned here and we will commend them to do even more and go further," she added.
She gave an assurance that the ministry of petroleum would give full support, not only to FENOG, but to all indigenous operators as they deliver Nigerian Content in this country.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of FENOG, Mr. Matthew Tonlagha, said the inauguration of the pipe-laying barge by the minister of petroleum had further reassured the company of its investment in the Nigerian Content.
He stated that the barge can lay pipe offshore from two inches to 60inches pipe offshore from the depth of 200 to 300 feet.
Tonlagha added that the barge could also lift heavy duty equipment of about 1,000 tonnes, adding that its 1,000 tonne-crane was the highest crane in Africa.
"This will make the whole country to know that the President is serious about the Nigerian Local Content and will further encourage other Nigerians to invest in Nigerian Content. We in FENOG are very happy that we have become a pace setter in the oil and gas industry because since the bill was signed into law, FENOG is the highest investor, among the indigenous companies," he said.
He noted that in July 2011, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Ernest Nwapa, had inaugurated FENOG's PD 500 HDD Rig which is the latest edition of HDD rig in the global oil and gas industry.
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