Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and its co-venturers (ExxonMobil, TOTAL and ENI) have donated facilities including a modern test laboratory to the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) at Imasabor-Ologbo, Benin City, in what has been hailed as a significant boost for the development of welding technology in Nigeria. The laboratory is for Non-Destructive Test and Destructive Test of materials, enabling users to obtain computerised information on materials tested.
“The test centre has huge potential to build and retain the much-needed welding capacity for the oil and gas industry,” said Osagie Okunbor, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd in an address at the commissioning of the centre read by General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, SPDC, Chiedu Oba. He said Shell Companies in Nigeria are committed to Nigerian content development and will continue to pursue opportunities to develop and deploy more locally manufactured products in their operations.”
His remarks were echoed by SNEPCo’s Managing Director Bayo Ojulari, who commended NAPIMS, the co-venturers, the NIW and the community for their support in the implementation of the project. NCDMB Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Patrick Oba said the effective collaboration among the different companies and organisations showed that Nigerian content can only be developed in the industry if all stakeholders work together to achieve set objectives.
The President of the Nigerian Institute of Welding, Solomon Edebiri thanked SNEPCo and her co-venturers “for this great service to our country.” He appealed for more support for effective utilisation of the NIW in the promotion of welding technology and practice in Nigeria.
Stakeholders who presented goodwill messages at the commissioning of the laboratory included, Total E & P, Nigerian Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, Nigerdock Limited, Dorman Long Nigeria Ltd, Ladol Nigeria Ltd, Industrial Training Fund, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun-Warri, University of Lagos and Chief Oliha, the Oliha of Benin Kingdom.
SNEPCo agreed to support the promotion of welding technology through the NIW after it applied for waivers from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) and/Weld Qualification Tests (WQT) due to a dearth of such capacity at that time. Among other facilities, SNEPCo provided utilities – power and water, internal roads and perimeter fencing at the Nigerian Institute of Welding.
The establishment of the centre is the latest milestone in efforts by Shell Companies in Nigeria to encourage Nigerian content development in its operations. Specifically in 2013, SNEPCo embarked on a project to refurbish subsea trees locally to ensure timely delivery of the equipment for the Bonga Phase 2 project which comprises drilling and hook-up of in-field wells within Bonga. The first Subsea Tree under the programme was installed on schedule in May 2015, the first of such reuse of a Subsea Tree fully stripped down and refurbished locally in Nigeria, with all of its original functionality restored.