Total refutes claims on Egina project

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By Yemie Adeoye

LAGOS—TOTAL Upstream Nigeria Limited, second largest operator in Nigeria’s upstream oil sector has debunked claims of seeming lack of transparency in the award of its Egina oil Field located 150km off the coast of Nigeria.

The field which is being developed by Total Upstream Nigeria 24 per cent in partnership with NNPC 10 per cent, CNOOC 45 per cent, Sapetro 5 per cent and Petrobras 16 per cent, is the third deep offshore development of Total in Nigeria. The field is currently under development and the production is scheduled to begin by 2014/2015.

The Company in a statement issued in Abuja and made available to Vanguard, said the contracting process of the Egina project was not what it wished to discuss on the pages of newspapers.

“Our attention has been drawn to recent publications in the press attributing certain statements to Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd in respect of the contracting processes on the Egina Project.

“Total Upstream Nigeria Limited would like to state for the record that as a responsible operator, we do not comment on contracting processes in the pages of newspapers.  We therefore completely dissociate ourselves from the publications” it enthused.

The Federal Government had called for transparency and an effective system that increases international investors’ confidence as Total was set to open tender covering various packages on its deep-water Egina project in Nigeria.

Industry sources had opined that bid documents will be issued to short-listed contenders for a new-build floating production, storage and offloading, FPSO vessel, subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines as well as a subsea production system.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who recently visited South Korea during the Nuclear Energy Summit, had used the visit to woo foreign investors from South Korea to Nigeria.

Besides, the government had been wooing investments from other climes. But, according to industry sources, the government is not going to gloss over issues of transparency and the strict adherence to the local content laws.

It is believed that the delay in the award of the Egina contracts, which started some years ago, must be as a result of government’s efforts to ensure transparency not just by Nigerians, but by the international community.

Market sources calculated that local content requirements could drive up the cost of the 2,000,000 barrel-per-day FPSO by about $500 million, so investors are keen to ensure work exists beyond Egina to sustain their investments and allow for a fair return on capital.

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