The inaugural FPSO Africa 2014 conference took place 10 – 11 June in Eko Hotel Lagos, Nigeria. The conference was the first gathering in the region to discuss FPSOs, attracting the likes of NNPC, NCDMB, FB Capital, Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun, GOGSPA Ghana and many more FPSO industry leaders in the region.
The event shined light on the latest megatrends in the West African oil and gas supply and demand sector, and the global demand for FPSOs in the Gulf of Guinea, in particular Nigeria and Ghana. Presentations featured local financing and investment trends, as well as safety and security of offshore facilities and understanding the Nigerian local content law.
An underlying theme throughout the conference was the local content issue, and the event proved to be a vital platform in which speakers and delegates had an opportunity to discuss the design elements, practicality and timeframe in which it would take to implement. The chairman Rob Smith had said that ‘overall the conference highlighted that West Africa oil and gas developments are linked to FPSO developments. While global oil markets will determine West Africa’s exports, the bigger take away that I was happy to see was the local and regional involvement in developing local content’. Delegates concluded that in moving forward Nigeria must maintain a steady balance in looking after local interest whilst also being sensitive in protecting foreign investments.
The conference also discussed the status of the current 11 active FPSO’s that are in operation offshore Nigeria. Remi Aiyela, Editor-in-chief, NOG Intelligence pointed out that she was pleased to hear that ‘the EGINA FPSO project will be the first development where the topside design will be fabricated and integrated in Nigeria. This is good to see and will lead of more jobs for locals and hopefully Nigeria will have the capacity to one day build the whole FPSO in the country’.
As West Africa continues to be a significant oil and gas producing region in the world, it is natural that FPSOs will only increase in West African waters, in which case there will be further need for local and international funding and local capacity. As Dzena Dzonlic, Conference Director for FPSO Africa commented, ‘there is a clear demand for this type of event in the region, we must continue to work with the key stakeholders in ensuring that we are tackling these important themes and addressing the fact that local content laws are not trying to get rid of foreign investments, but instead trying to increase local capacity’.