Oil & gas: Investors spend N1.5trn on marine vessels

Following their resolve to ensure a smooth process in the oil and gas sector, investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector have spent N1.5 trillion ($3 billion) on acquisition of marine vessels in four years.


Within the period spanning 2014 to 2018, they also spent $1.8 billion on maintaining the ships.


According to New Telegraph’s findings, 73 per cent of the amount was spent on crude boat, security and power supply intervention, apart from another $600 million.


It was further revealed that another $1.04 billion was spent between 2019 and 2020.


According to International Trade Statistics (ITS) on Nigerian imports, $764.4 million was spent in 2019, while in 2020, a total $271.7 million was spent.


Some of the vessels are heavy floating cranes, heavy crane badge, survey salvage vessels, seismic survey vessels, geophysical survey vessels, jack up rigs, semi submersible rig, deepwater drill ships, tender assist rigs and swamp barge rigs.


It was gathered that over 20,000 ships were working for the oil and gas firms in the Nigerian waters with an annual expenditure of over $600 million in the upstream sector. Worried by the huge expenditure, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, had ordered the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to review its charges on imported petrol.


The vice president explained at a forum in Abuja that Nigeria, the largest producer of crude oil in Africa, imports refined petroleum products despite owning four refineries. Osinbajo noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had given order for a downward review of port charges on imported petrol. He said the review would help to reduce pressure on the pump price of petrol in the country.


The vice president stressed the importance of enhancing effective synergy between oil and gas and maritime sectors for greater value creation. Osinbajo said: “You will agree with me that the maritime sector remains pivotal to the oil and gas sector in our country.


“The issues bordering around regulation 2014 has been brought to my notice, the implementation of regulation, especially this time the country is coming out of the global oil crisis.”


Also, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, explained that the number of vessels on Nigerian waters had reflected the huge potential in the sector, noting that the country was aspiring to grow its production to three million barrels per day.


He said: “Without doubt, the potential of the Nigeria blue economy is huge and remain largely untapped for the benefit of the country.” Kyari added that available statistics showed that there were over 20,000 ships working for the oil and gas sector in Nigerian waters.


Meanwhile, the Federal Government has decided to ban certain categories of vessels from operating on nation’s coastal waters. In the ban schedule, it said that fishing trawlers of all sizes would no longer be allowed into the country from the end of December 2020, while the importation of barges and tug boats would be banned from the December 2021.


Similarly, offshore supply vessels, houses boats, tankers below 10,000 gross registered tonnage and security patrol boats were also affected and would not be allowed  into the country from the end of December, 2022.


Also, schedule two affects offshore support vessels namely anchor handling tug larger than 5,000bnp with dynamic positioning Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) and offshore construction vessels, derrick crane vessels, pipe/cable laying vessels, surf laying vessels, and dive support vessels.


The vessels are banned from December, 2023, while the Drag Head Suction Hopper, Dredger Suction Hopper and Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger would be restricted from coming into the country by December, 2024.


Also banned from December 2024, are heavy floating cranes, heavy crane badge, survey salvage vessels, seismic survey vessels, geophysical survey vessels, jack up rigs, semi submersible rig, deepwater drill ships, tender assist rigs and swamp barge rigs




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