Africa Oil Business News

Wed08202014

Last update11:28:10 AM

Nigeria gets first deepwater simulation theatre in Africa

An indigenous oil servicing company, Tolmann Allied Services, has opened a Deepwater Simulation Theatre (DST), which is the first of its kind in Africa and third in the world.

The unveiling, which was done at the celebration of the fourth edition of Nigerian local content in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, was conceived by Tolmann Allied Services Company Ltd in response to the increasing number of companies carrying out exploration activities in the deep offshore and the need to prepare from classroom to installation to overcome harsh environmental conditions that may arise in such industry operations.

Commissioning the facility, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke commended Tolmann Allied Services for investing in such an upscale facility has further removed doubts about the capacity of Nigerians to own and operate key assets in the oil and gas industry.

The Minister explained that the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) insistence on indigenous ownership of key assets as a major plank of monitoring compliance is based on the fact that it is the best guarantee that the implementation of the Nigerian Content policy will endure.

"Because Nigerians now have stakes in ownership, we are sure that Nigerian Content will survive even after the current officials in government may have left the scene," she said.

The Minister, who was speaking through the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Ernest Nwapa, applauded the entrepreneurial spirit of local oil servicing companies who set up key facilities and acquire hi-tech industry assets despite experiencing challenges in the operating environment.

He recalled that local companies under the aegis of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) started the push for indigenous participation in the industry before the Federal Government backed their efforts with the Nigerian Content policy, which thereafter became a law.

Nwapa credited the successes recorded so far in implementing the Nigerian Content Act to the courage and leadership provided by the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the political will and independence to operate being enjoyed under President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.

Noting that so much had been accomplished in the past four years of implementing the Act, the Executive Secretary said the Board was working to expand the implementation frontiers to create more jobs in the economy.

"It is from these kinds of service companies and investments we see from Tolmann and PETAN companies that jobs will be created and we will push them to make more investments," he added.

In his welcome speech, the Managing Director of Tolmann Allied Services, Mr. Emmanuel Onyekwena recounted the challenges the company faced while setting up the Deepwater Simulation Theatre, noting that the intervention of the Minister saved the investment.

He listed the company's goals for investing in the DST to include: addressing challenges in deepwater exploration, building in-country capacity with global reach, creation of employment for graduates and community support, identifying with the ideals and reforms in the sector and demonstrating the capability as the local leading offshore safety training provider in-country.

In his remarks, Chairman of PETAN, Emeka Ene identified innovation and entrepreneurship as the drivers of the oil and gas industry and charged operating companies to patronize facilities and assets owned by indigenous companies, whom he said were providing world class services.

He said the DST facility will not only retain millions of Naira that would have been spent by the Nigerian oil and gas industry to sponsor staff to overseas training programmes, but also attract trainees from the Gulf of Guinea and other oil producing countries around the world. eland.

The Guardian