By Prince Okafor
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mr Mansur Sambo, says the company is the largest supplier of the domestic gas in the country.
Sambo disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen after a facility tour of the NPDC Integrated Gas Handling Facility (IGHF) in Ologbo, Edo, on Monday.
According to him, “Something significant I will like you to know is that today, NPDC is the largest gas supplier to the domestic market.
“Out of about 1.7billion cubic feet (BCF) that goes to domestic market, NPDC, with its partners supply about 1.1billion and out of this 1.1 billion, NPDC equity is about 620 million standard cubic feet (mmSCF).
“So, as at today, NPDC is the largest gas supplier to the domestic market.”
He said that NPDC had laid out plans to ensure that the facility was maintained over the years for economic growth and development.
He said that about 2, 000 Nigerians had been employed to man the operations, with a good number of them employed from the host community.
“Before the start-off of the plant, we have given employment letters to many people within the community even before employing through the formal recruitment process.
“As a panacea to make sure the plant does not go down, we have commenced training programmes; part of the cost of doing this plant, there is a programme for training for employed staff for the maintenance of the facility,” he said.
He further noted that most of the things achieved in the facility were done through indigenous companies, with in-house consultants.
The MD noted that few expatriates in the facilities were for specialist equipment that they would handle.
Commenting on construction of the facility, the NPDC boss said that about two million man-hours were used to complete the process work.
He said that the two million man-hours all happened without Loss Time due to Injury (LTI).
“This means that from the day we started to where we are today, we have not had any accident or any significant incident that made us to lose a worker, a life or even an hour.
“In terms of resources, this is the project that would bring significant change to our income in NPDC; it would bring significant change to the environment because we are taking away substantial amount of gas that would have been flared.
“Today, we are converting it into naira. Naira, because gas revenues are received in naira. We are an indigenous company; we are NPDC, we are happy to take naira.
“Gas is a stabiliser to any company’s income that is in exploration and production (E&P).
“Crude oil prices fluctuate, gas prices do not fluctuate the same way crude oil prices fluctuate.
“What it means is that you would be able to make some good plans – long term plans from your gas income,” he said.
NAN reports that gas was seen flared in three points at the facility, but Sambo explained that it was a necessary activity in the oil and gas industry.
“Flare is just like breathing. Without the flare, the plant will not breathe. So, you must have a flare, process one, in order to protect your plant.
“So, whenever you have a process upset or pressure build-up, gas will go to the flare, that way you save your plant.
“The reason why you are seeing a couple of them here is because we did this development in modular form.
“We started first with a modest flow station 1 type, gradually, we have flow station 2 and 3; today, we have the IDHF.
“As we have completed the IDHF, we have already started the engineering design, for us to now bring all the flares into one, so that we have just one, instead of the three or four that are visible now.
“Those who would come here in a couple of years’ time, in fact, less than two years from now, would see only one flare. We are already working on that one,” he said.