By Jimmy Lace, Warri.

Barge

ENCOURAGED by the Local Content Policy of the Federal Government, the country’s major player in the Oil and Gas Industry, FENOG Nigeria Limited has acquired yet another hi-tech equipment, an offshore Pipe-laying Derrick Barge (Akpevweoghene).

It would be recalled that on July 19, 2011, the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Ernest Nwapa in Warri, Delta State commissioned the Africa first PD500 HDD equipment recently acquired by FENOG Nigeria Limited.

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Group General Manager of the company, Mr. Bello Oboh had said at the commissioning on July 19, 2011 that; “All these above mentioned equipment are just a tip of the iceberg. FENOG has also recently and aggressively moved into shallow and Deep Water operations by its acquisition of “Akpevweoghene Derrick Lay Barge” meant for the construction of platforms, heavy lifting and laying of pipelines in both shallow and deep waters. The barge is expected in the country about three weeks from now.”

But just before the celebration that greeted the commissioning of the PD500 HDD could die down, the indigenous oil service company has taken possession of the hi-tech equipment, the Akpevweoghene (Praise God) Derrick Lay Barge to face the challenges ahead.

Executive Director of FENOG Nigeria Limited, Mr. Matthew Tonlagha disclosed on Monday, August 1. 2011 that; “The Barge just arrived five days ago in Tema Dry Dockyard in Ghana. This barge is a very big barge so it cannot just come and berth here in Nigeria because it sailed from the Gulf of Mexico, US to Africa. We need to check the barge very well and we need to install the facilities removed before the barge started its sailing to Africa. And the only available port that can contain that barge is in Ghana and that is why we left it there in Ghana. Ghana is very close to Nigeria with one hour you are in Ghana. We are already developing our jetty along the Warri River to receive the barge. Engr. Nwapa was at the jetty on July 19, 2011.”

He explained that; “This barge is an international barge that can go to anywhere in the world to work. This barge is to lay pipe line from Shallow water to deep water and the installation of jacket in deep and shallow water and well head jacket plat form and that is why they call it Derrick and pipeline laying barge. The Derrick barge and PD 500 works in different ways. HDD is to lay pipelines without dredging while Akpevweoghene is to lay barge from deep water to shallow water off shore.”

According to him, “The Derrick barge (Akpevweoghene) is to lay pipeline and jacket platforms. And now that it has arrived, we know that the multi-national oil companies have been around for the past 20 years when we opened this company, but my Chairman/Managing Director believed in the local content policy and that is why he extended it to this deep water operation because we Nigerians are now available to showcase that we can do all these projects here. And when the President signed the local content bill it gave us hope that Nigerians can participate actively in the deep and shallow water operations.”

While expressing gratitude to God for the safe arrival of Derrick barge, Mr. Tonlagha urged President Jonathan to ensure the workability of the Local Content Policy saying that; “My message to the President is that it is not just signing the local content policy into law but to make it work; the people of the Niger Delta have gone far to procure these equipment to participate because the President is from Niger Delta. It means we have hope to participate in this oil and gas industry. Normally the government is supposed to give money and encourage the people to invest, but we did not ask government to give us money to procure these huge equipment into the country. We just went ahead to procure these equipment because of the trust and hope we have in the local content policy, this is for them to know how serious we are and it is because of their credibility that is why FENOG is going into this investment. We should be encouraged by the government.”

He also said; “The oil majors should feel free to go to Tema Port in Ghana to see the new acquired barge by FENOG Nigeria Limited. The barge will be useful for the operations of Shell, Total, Chevron, ExxonMobil and others. It will help them to drive the Local Content Policy of the Federal Government. And this is also an opportunity for the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr, Austen Oniwon, who have been encouraging and supporting FENOG to let the oil companies know that we have a new equipment, the offshore Pipe-laying Derrick Barge and this our latest equipment is also very good for the Gas Master plan of the Federal Government.”