Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, on Thursday said that prompt approval of Field Development Plan by Federal Government would attract huge investments in the oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu disclosed this at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Lagos technical symposium on Field Development Plan approval process.
The minister, who was represented by Johnson Awoyemi, the Senior Technical Adviser of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said that FDP was one of the fundamental criteria in the development of upstream exploration and production projects in Nigeria.
He said the symposium, put together by the association was apt and very timely.
He said that SPE served as 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 it was important that government acted quickly to evaluate and approve FDPs, thereby ensuring the momentum of investors did not dip.
He said that some of the main issues that resulted in delay of approvals were the inadequacy or incompleteness of plans that did not address all the project development issues.
He said: “Hence, as part of our 7 Big Wins, we initiated the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme 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 Depaprtment of Petroleum Resources will not approve any FDP, unless there is an end-to-end gas utilization solution in place.’’
He said that government deemed it tactful to initiate the NGFCP, which would provide multiple options eliminating bottlenecks associated with FDP’s approval.
Kachikwu explained: “If we do not provide timely FDP approval, it will delay production, revenue, profitability, economic development, job creation, 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 document is the regulator of our oil and gas industry.
“DPR must approve before the commencement of activities in any oil field of our nation.’’
The minister said that when considering whether to approve an FDP proposal, the DPR considered if the proposal would meet government’s policy objectives.
Mordecai Ladan, the Director, DPR, said that in moving forward, the agency would try to expedient fast approval of the FDP provided the operators did the needful.
Ladan, who was represented by Babajide Fashina, Assistant Director, Operations, DPR, said that early engagement between DPR and operators remained the most reliable way to fast rack prompt approval of FDP.
He said: “Doing the process efficiently by operators is one of the important aspects to enhance approval processes.
“We are always open to provide guidance to operators on effective and efficient way to get FDP approval timely.’’
Temitope Oshutuyi, Chairman, SPE Lagos section 61, said that the topic was timely to address FDP challenges in the oil and gas sector.
Oshutuyi said that association was dedicated to technical dissemination of information in the industry and would continue to add values to its members companies.
He said: “At the end of the session, we believe it would highlight steps to enable producing companies to have their FDP approved on time.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the one-day symposium is tagged “Expediting FDP Approval: Key Actions To Ensure Efficiency and Value Added Processes’’.