By Yemie Adeoye
The United States Commercial Service has awarded an international partner award to Mrs. Uju Ifejika, Chairman/CEO, Brittania_U Nigeria Limited, operator of the Ajapa marginal oil field on Oil Mining lease (OML)90.
This was contained in press statement issued by the company in Lagos recently and made available to Vanguard.
According to the statement the award is in appreciation of her unwavering commitment to business development between Nigeria and the United States.
The award, according to the US Consular General, Lagos, Ms Dona Blair is in recognition of the close commercial ties Brittania_U has developed with the State of Louisiana, and other US companies, resulting in the company investing millions of dollars within the past 17 months in US made goods and services.
For the State of Louisiana, the investment was quite significant as it occurred while the State was coping with the highpoints of the Hurricane Katrina devastation.
The statement reads in part â€œHighpoints of the business transaction between Brittania_U and US companies based in the State of Louisiana, include the purchase of a 480 feet dumb barge, fabrication of a 10,000 barrels per dayÂ Floating Production and Storage Unit (FPSU), purchase and refurbishment of a 78,000 barrelsÂ capacity oil tanker, acquisition of a 4,200 horsepower ocean going tug boat, purchase and refurbishment of two supply vessels, (a 22 man crew andÂ a 14 man crew boats) as well as a 12 manÂ speed boat. This is in addition to the drilling services provided in the Ajapa field by Noble Drilling, a US drilling company.
Brittania_U, which is an emerging integrated oil and gas company with upstream, downstream , shipping and sub surfaceÂ companies inÂ the group, believes in the power of partnership, high ethical standards and professionalismÂ which accountedÂ forÂ the companyâ€™sÂ majorÂ Â investment in installing its vessels with state_ of_ the_ art equipment such as the far looking Sunar Radar with capacity to scan between 1000 to 1,400 radius beneath the seaÂ bed, including capability toÂ detectÂ explosives in water , the first of its kind to be installed in any exploration and production vessel anywhere in the world, according to Mr. Ian Bowles, VP, Sales & Marketing, FarSounder Services Offshore Industry, USA.
Speaking at the award ceremony held at the residence of the Consular General in Lagos, during a visit to Nigeria by a Louisiana State TradeÂ Delegation, the Consular General, Ms. Dona Blair extolled the performanceÂ of Brittania_U within two years of itsÂ existence as an emerging indigenous company.
Describing the investment of Brittania_ U in the State of Louisiana as unprecedented by a young indigenous company, she noted that it was in recognition of this rare feat that prompted the Consulate to single out the company for the award at this time of the year, away from the traditionalÂ award schedule of theÂ Consulate that normally holds in August of every year.
In her response, Mrs Ifejika, while thanking the Consulate for this rare honour of this award, noted that Brittania_U in line with itsÂ Â motto of the â€œPower of Partnershipâ€, prompted the companyâ€™s decision to partner with United State Of America companies in the purchase, fabrication and refurbishment of the several items for its Ajapa field production activities, all of which were purchased in the State of Louisiana, USA and delivered in-country within 17 months.
She maintained that Brittania-U will continue to forge long and lasting relationships with good US based companies and service providers to ensure that the company builds a world class indigenous entity that operates within Nigeria, the West AfricanÂ sub_region and beyond.
Mrs. Ifejilka extended special appreciation in particular to the Consular General of the US Consulate Lagos,Â Ms. Blair, whom she described as â€œ a diplomat per excellence, a motherÂ and a human being with a soulâ€,Â Â her teamÂ in the Energy, CommercialÂ Departments and theÂ Visa Section who made the award possible by their prompt support/response to theÂ companyâ€™s operational needs as and when needed.Â She noted that this is the first time the US State Department has sent a corps of seasoned diplomats who have gone to a great length to improve Nigeria public perception of the Consulate.
She promised that the company will continue to strive to operate in an excellent, efficient and professional manner, adding that for her personally,Â the award is comingÂ at an exciting time, being the onlyÂ woman CEO of an exploration and production company in the country, that is equally theÂ operator of Ajapa MarginalÂ Field.
Finally, Mrs. Ifejika also particularly thanked the Federal Government who made the day possible by its Marginal Field policy initiative which saw indigenous ompanies like Brittania_U owing an oil field as well as being the operator. She also thanked the financial institution that contributed to this laudable achievement.