NCDMB was a game changer for us.


Successful support in Nigeria

September 19, 2019

Tein George, chairman of Aveon Offshore, talks to TOGY about the growing role of local content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the outlook for upcoming projects. Aveon Offshore does fabrication work and supplies subsea components to the oil and gas industry.

How instrumental has the NCDMB (Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board) been for your growth?
NCDMB was a game changer for us. They ensure that a minimum amount of work is done as per law and regulations in Nigeria. Once you can ensure that, it brings some certainty of work. In the past, there were a lot of policy proposals, but when the law was enacted, it meant people had to comply. It helps support us in capacity improvement and development. We built new facilities on the back of our recent projects, and NCDMB supported us in capacity development discussions with the IOCs. NCDMB has provided significant support to us over the years.

What has been the effect of local content policies on technology transfers?
Local content policies have had a strong effect. A lot of the work we did in the past was thought by the industry to be too advanced for Nigeria as the locals would have to be taught. The change brought about by local content policies had a big effect on the complexity of the work that can be done here. Some of the manifolds we build would have been built outside of the country; they are very complex, but they can be done here now. Our clients worked with us and gave us the support to make it possible to do those manifolds here; it is to our joint benefit that we succeeded.
What we require now are new projects. If there is no work to be done, there is no work here. We need the government to try to ensure there is constant workflow and have dynamic policies so we can stay busy. The government can be encouraged to transfer what they have done in the oil industry in the area of local content to other sectors of the economy, like telecom and manufacturing. Local content policies are doing a fantastic job in the oil and gas industry.


How has 2019 been for Aveon Offshore?
Not much has happened in the industry, but we have been able to secure some good projects; not as large as we would like, but they have sustained us. We have done some work for the large IOCs, but most of our projects have come from the independents. We are building platforms for them. We do maintenance work for the IOCs and have a few remaining pieces of equipment for Egina, such as jumpers that will be delivered through 2020.
For the next year we are hoping that a number of projects will progress to FID, such as Bonga South West and Preowei.

How has your capacity evolved over the past year?
We haven’t done any new large projects that require a substantial increase in yard capacity. You invest when you see a need. We are investing in making sure our facilities are in good shape so we can load out equipment when necessary. We are making sure we go through the ISO certifications successfully, but we have not increased our yard capacity in the past year or so.
There are some gas development projects coming up. Some of those projects will require investment in new fabrication workshops that provide cover during fabrication, so you can continue to work and keep to your schedule because weather won’t affect you substantially.

How will Aveon Offshore continue advancing local content?
We want to expand the breadth of our services. We are beginning to look for EPC projects. We have dipped our toes in offshore work. We are beginning to provide offshore construction support services. We have not acquired pipe-lay vessels, but we are thinking about it and considering if there is enough work in that area to sustain the existing players and new players. We are not convinced there is enough consistent work to invest in acquiring an offshore spread yet, though.
We are getting more and more interested in EPC work where we provide the full scope of EPC services. It’s a win-win. It’s a natural progression. In the past we went for projects where somebody else would come to us for fabrication, but now we want to be awarded contracts along with our partners. We can lead the construction scope because we have the experience. We can make use of the skills we have acquired over the years.

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