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Shell acknowledges the contribution of indigenous contractors from Nigeria for progress in Bonga Field. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) reported further progress on the Bonga Field following the deployment of a locally manufactured automated tank cleaning technology, along with stud bolts, nuts and flanges as well as sand screens – all made by indigenous contractors from Nigeria

 In a development last year, when a team of predominantly Nigerian companies effectively delivered the Bonga Turn Around Maintenance in eight days ahead of schedule, the oil major was quick to attribute the credit to the largely local team on saving downtime on the project. 

The Bonga North West Field became productive since 2005, marking Nigeria's first oil and gas development. Situated at 1,000-m water depth, the field hosts a giant floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. With the onboarding of several Nigerian contractors and service providers, Shell considers the Bonga project an instigator of a 'new generation of Nigerian deep-water professionals'. It  believes that the project has enabled tax and roaylty remittance to the Nigerian Government.

“Nigerian content is a business enabler for Shell, so, it is in our interest to help build the capacity of Nigerian contractors to handle key contracts,” Shell’s general manager - Nigerian content development, Lanre Olawuyi, said at a panel session on Nigerian content at the eighth edition of the Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) in Lagos. He was represented by manager, NCD capacity and supplier development, Kenechukwu Akubue.

Shell has been vocal about its ambitious goals to actively promote Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector through contract generation so that it can hit 70% by 2070 from the current 20%. The company spent more than US$1.9bn in 2022 by awarding multiple contracts to Nigeria-registered companies. About 61% of these companies were local, with 51% or more Nigerian ownership. 

With several beneficiaries studying in the United Kingdom for master’s degree programmes at top universities in the United Kingdom. 

Shell and its partners have started the Niger Delta Post Graduate Scholarship that enables beneficiaries to pursue Masters' in the United Kingdom, which falls in line with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board's (NCDMB) vision to create 50,000 indigenous oil and gas professionals with postgraduate qualifications by 2027.

Olawuyi said, “Shell is grateful for the support of stakeholders, including the NCDMB, our partners and contractors in efforts to promote Nigerian content and we hope to continue the collaboration to further grow this aspect of our business.”