By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources on Thursday said that prompt approval of Field Development Plan (FDP) by Federal Government would attract huge investments in the oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu disclosed on his keynote address at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Lagos section 61 on its technical symposium on Field Development Plan (FDP) approval process.
The minister who was represented by Mr Johnson Awoyemi, the Senior Technical Adviser of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources said that FDP is one of the fundamental criteria in the development of upstream exploration and production projects in Nigeria.
He said that symposium put together by the association was not only apt but very timely.
He said that SPE serves a platform for promoting and disseminating technical knowledge and advice to government on policy initiatives regarding the development and production of oil and gas resources.
According to him, government is ever ready to partner with any creativity on the part of SPE that will add value and enhance economic sustainability along the oil and gas value chain.
Kachikwu said that it is important that government acts quickly to evaluate and approve FDPs, thereby ensuring the momentum of investors does not dip.
He said that some of the main issues that have resulted in delay of approvals are the inadequacy or incompleteness of plans that do not address all the project development issues.
“Hence, as part of our 7 Big Wins, we initiated the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Program (NGFCP) as a solution.
“ The purpose of the NGFCP is to eliminate wastage of gas, thereby stimulating economic growth, driving investments and providing jobs in the nation through the use of widely available innovative technologies.
“This initiative will provide an end-to-end solution that will positively impact the Nigerian economy.
“The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will not approve any FDP, unless there is an end-to-end gas utilization solution in place,’’ he said.
He said that government deemed it tactful to initiate the NGFCP, which would provide multiple options eliminating bottlenecks associated with FDP’s approval.
He said that another issue is when the field would extend into neighbouring concessions or license areas and then unitisation of the asset becomes necessary.
“If we do not provide timely FDP approval, it will delayed production, revenue, profitability, economic development, job creations, growth and investments in the oil industry.
“Therefore timely FDP Approval is a win-win for both the government and the investors. In a sense, FDP is the roadmap for the development of any asset in the oil and gas sector.
“Therefore, to a large degree, it defines the success or otherwise of the field. This is the document the regulator of our oil and gas industry,
“ DPR must approve before the commencement of activities in any oil field of our nation,’’ he said.
The minister said that in Nigeria, the enabling law that gives legal backing to FDP approval is the petroleum drilling and production regulation of 1969.