By Samuel Oyandongha
Yenagoa â€”Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), weekend, said its Gbaran-Ubie integrated oil and gas project in Bayelsa State has gulped over $1bn.
Vanguard learnt that the multibillion naira project,Â when completed next year would help meet the Federal Government targets to reduce gas flaring in the Niger Delta, is expected to produce at its peak, one billion standard cubic feet of gas each day and more than 70,000 barrels of oil per day.
It was also learnt that at the peak of production last year, the project created employment for almost 6000 people including contractors and service providers while the gas facility when fully operational is expected to create between 300-500 regular jobs-mostly, employing people from theÂ host communities.
The Project Manager of the Gbaran-Ubie integrated oil and gas, Mr. Graham Henley, who conducted newsmen round the site at Obunagha in the old Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, said though work is about 75 per cent completed, the project would help launch the state on the fast lane of industrial development.
â€œMore than $1bn has already been spent within Nigeria on labour, material and services,â€ he said.
According to him, over 140 Nigeria companies have provided services including pipe line design and protective coating, dredging works construction of accommodation and the building of roads and bridges.
Also, the project international contractors such as Daewoo which is handling the central processing facility he added has trained over 200 locals in scaffolding and welding pipe fitters.
On the import of the project, he said, â€œdemand for Nigeriaâ€™s gas is now increasing, both for domestic use and for export as liquefied natural gas LNG. The project will drill more than 30 new wells, nine of which have been completed and build a central processing facility to treat both oil and gas to increase production from the area and enable SPDC to harness the associated gas produced with oil. SPDC may expand the project and production still further in later stages after 2010.
â€œWhen completed, new pipelines will deliver some of the gas to generate power in the Niger Delta- supporting development in the region. It will supply the Bayelsa State power plant at Imiringi and a new 225MW power plant that government is building at Gbarain. The rest of the gas will be transported vai SPDCâ€™s new Eastern Gas Gathering System (EGGS-2) pipeline to Soku, in the eastern Niger Delta, from where it will be transported to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company at Bonny for export.â€
As part of the project, he said, â€œSPDC is building several bridges and approximately 40 kilometres of roads and GMoU funds have provided 80 university scholarships to young people from communities near the site as well as supplying and installing equipment connecting communities near the plant to the electricity grid.â€