The management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL) and other indigenous oil and gas companies have been advised to adopt strict corporate governance guidelines in their operations if they want their firms to grow sustainably. The companies were equally encouraged to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and to consult regularly with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote handed out these pieces of advice on Thursday when the Chief Executive Officer of HEOSL, Mr. Ado Oseragbaje, and other key officials of the firm visited him at the Board’s liaison office in Abuja.
He identified the lack of corporate governance as the biggest drawback of most indigenous oil and gas companies and deplored the situation where owners and directors of indigenous operating oil and gas firms serve as contractors to their company, thereby contravening corporate governance procedures and delivering poor services.
The prevalent negative practice, he warned, could negatively affect the divestments of assets by some international oil and gas entities to indigenous firms.
The Executive Secretary commended the management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited for turning around the fortunes of their company and advised that they employ competent hands to manage sensitive positions, while also instituting corporate governance guidelines.
Speaking further, Wabote underscored the need for oil companies to always comply with the provisions of the NOGICD Act, including the remittance of one percent of the value of contracts to the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) as mandated by section 104 of the NOGICD Act.
He reiterated that NCDMB serves as an enabler of business, emphasizing that the agency’s regulatory decisions are always taken from a pragmatic point of view. He encouraged oil and gas companies to approach the Board regularly for discussions, even when they have challenges with complying with the NOGICD Act. He assured that “when you hold quarterly meetings with the key teams of the Board, we will support and guide you and there will not be any hitches.”
In his remarks, the CEO of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL) explained that the visit was initiated so they could brief the Board on the steps the company had taken to address some of the Nigerian Content noncompliance and other regulatory issues that had flouted in the past.
Some of the steps the company has undertaken include executing the Nigerian Content noncompliance remediation programme and the launch of Nigerian Content Research and Development projects at Akwa Ibom State University and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
He remarked that HEOSL is the operator of the OML 30 Joint Venture between NNPC Exploration and Production Limited and Shoreline Natural Resources Limited Joint Venture (NEPL/SNRL JV). He announced that the joint venture partners had approved a drilling campaign on the asset, the first time such an activity would be carried out since Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) divested the asset. He said: “We will be drilling four wells and the project could go on for 4 years and would include a lot of projects, such as facility expansion, water treatment, among other activities.”
He also announced that the company was almost paying off its indebtedness to the to NCDF and thanked the Board for being lenient over the firm’s past infractions while supporting it to improve its performance and compliance.