Prior 2017, the Onne port in Rivers State, managed by Intels Nigeria Limited, was the only port receiving shipments for operators in the petroleum industry, the monopoly on favour Intels to the detriment of participating oil companies and Nigeria as a country.

The managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, who confirmed the development while on a visit to Vanguard Newspaper in Lagos yesterday, said that the policy has culminated in a significant cost reduction for oil companies.

Usman, who did not provide details stated: “Recently, we got submissions from Shell Petroleum saying the removal of monopoly has translated to a billion dollar savings for them in one of their Oil Mining Leases, OML.

“This is huge and Shell is just one company. Other oil and gas companies have also been able to cut cost.”

In addition she said the gains of the successful breaking of the monopoly showed up in the historic berthing and handling of the Egina shipment.

She stated: “It then led to the success story on Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) which integration has just been completed in Lagos. There was savings because nobody was compelled to use any port.”

She added, “Those savings have enabled them to do business more profitably in Nigeria than in the past.”

The $16 billion Egina, FPSO, is expected to boost Nigeria’s oil production by 200,000 barrels of oil per day (approximately 10 per cent of the country’s total oil production).

Egina, which had a successful sail away, left the quayside at LADOL fabrication yard, for a three-day journey to the Egina Field in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130, located about 150km offshore the Niger Delta. It is designed for 25 years of operations and reputed as the deepest offshore development carried out so far in Nigeria, in water depths of over 1,500 meters.

Upon arrival on the field, the mooring and hook-up operations will commence connecting the FPSO to the subsea facilities, before the start-up of production planned at the end of the year.

“With the integration of the six locally fabricated modules at the SHI-MCI Yard, Total has changed how deep offshore oil and gas projects are executed in the country and set new records for Nigerian content,” a statement from Total stated.

Being the first project to be launched after the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act in 2010, Egina is also reputed as the highest Nigerian Content ever completed in an oil and gas project.

The project was said to have generated significant activities for local contractors, in various sectors and provided avenues for training and development of Nigerians in various domains. Seven months ago, Egina made history as the first FPSO unit to berth at an integration quay in Africa, for the installation of six topside modules that were fabricated in Nigeria.

It is not doubt breaking of Intel monopoly was the best decision taken in the interest of fair play and development of Nigeria oil industry.

Opeyemi Babarinde (Miss)