Highlights from the West Africa Oil & Gas Security Summit
The 2nd West Africa Oil & Gas Security 2015 Summit, organised by global Summits organiser IRN, and held on 10-11 June 2015 at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, brought together senior-level security specialists from IOCs, NOCs, major service providers and governmental bodies to debate the security issues affecting the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and wider West Africa.
In terms of the national security, the feeling within the conference was that adopting a whole governmental approach is essential to improve security in the West African countries. All sectors have a responsibility to support the national security establishment as there is a need for greater unity of purpose within the government parastatals to improve security in the country. It was also pointed out that the responsibility lies with Nigerians but also the foreigners, who live, work or do business in Nigeria, for the benefit of all.
This sentiment was also felt in the maritime sessions on the second day, where it appeared that there is not a real political will to implement the ISPS Code by the African countries at present. The delegation called for them to come together in partnership with the Governments of West Africa to fight piracy, armed robbery attacks and hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea.
As for local communities, the need for lateral thinking was also highlighted, with delegates pointing out the fact that those working in artisanal refineries require basic engineering expertise. Those engaged in illegal oil production could therefore be a great asset to the legal industry if they were trained and invested in by the IOCs and NOCs. It is clear that local communities are still not benefiting enough from the wealth created by the oil and gas industry, and more needs to be done to address this if the industry is to be lucrative.
Additionally, speakers drew attention to the importance of private security, which is gradually coming into the limelight and will continue to be a lucrative profession in a few years from now. The delegation agreed it should be a collective responsibility to position this profession the same way as it is in the USA, UK and other countries of the world.
Over two days, panel discussions focused on community engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as on the challenges around disaster and crisis management for the oil and gas industry. Other presentations and case studies focused on topics such as:
– terrorism as a challenge for energy security
– business travel security
– managing the threat of kidnap for ransom
– enhancing security strategies to prevent theft and petty criminality
– oil theft in the Niger Delta
– creating a port security plan
Among the international companies in attendance were:
Asis, ABZ Oil & Gas, Addax Petroleum, Akhanani Distributors, ALPS Services, Atmos International, Bosch, Broron Oil & Gas, Bureau Veritas, Control Risk, Edinburgh International, Energy Institute, Essimacs International Security, Eyespy Security Services, Fanmilk, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Forts and Shields, Gardaworld Nigeria, GEOS, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria, K2 Solutions, Kano Electricity Distribution, Kontz Engineering, Megastar Tech & Construction, NASC, Ministry of Defence, Nigeria LNG, Nigerian Navy (NIMASA), Nigerian Airforce, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NPDC, Ocean Marine Security, Oceanwater Marine & Oil, Peonus Consultants, PGI, Proton Security Services, PwC, SAA West Africa, Saipem, Sea Petroleum & Gas, Seaquest Energy, Seplat Petroleum Development, Shell Nigeria, Shorange Petroleum, Subsea7, Tenaris Global Services, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and more.
Senior level delegates have judged the turnout as ‘very impressive’; the meeting a ‘well organised Summit [with] fascinating speakers and very articulated topics’; others were pleased by ‘a very fine blend of presentations’ or found that ‘the Summit will contribute to grow and add value in the Nigerian oil and gas industry’.
The Summit’s official Sponsors were the pipeline protection company; Atmos International; maritime security experts, Ocean Marine Security; security engineering provider, Kontz Engineering; canine oil detection services, K2 Solutions; bulletproof wears supplier, Forts and Shields; and Proton Security Services. The forum was also supported by the Information Security Forum, and the Africa Gas Association.
The official Twitter hashtag to join the discussion is #WAOGS.