Some 41 Nigerian companies are among the 4,760 exhibitors participating at the 45th session of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) which opened in Houston, Texas, on Monday.
The event also attracted more than 120,000 delegates from across the world, out of whom 2,500 are Nigerians.
In a message, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, expressed optimism that some Nigerian companies that inherited assets from international oil companies would eventually measure and live up to expectations.
Represented by the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, the minister said that Nigerian companies participating at the
conference would use the experience garnered to develop the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Allison-Madueke said that the world was looking on to Nigerian companies to improve their capacities and boost service delivery to consolidate Nigeria’s position as a top oil and gas producer.
The chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, Mr Emeka Ene, said that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry had witnessed remarkable development in the past four years following the introduction of the Nigerian Content Law.
“Coinciding with this milestone, several land and swamp-based oil and gas assets were divested to new independent operators who invested aggressively to grow production from these assets.
“These developments have translated into a high level of activity in the service sector fuelled primarily by local content drive.
“The success of the first round of divestment also gave rise to successive ongoing rounds of asset divestments, coupled with the announcement of the $15 billion Egina Deepwater Project by Total.’’’
He named other upcoming deepwater projects to include Shell’s Bonga South-West development, and similar projects by the oil majors, Agip and Chevron.
“These projects together represent a major opportunity for investment in the Nigerian economy,’’ he said.
Speaking on his impressions on the 2014 OTC, a participant, Mr Francis Anyakwo, said that Nigerian companies needed to take skills home to develop the oil and gas industry.
He expressed his optimism that indigenous companies would eventually turn the corner and make positive contributions to the development of Nigerian economy.
Anyakwo said that many of the ills plaguing Nigeria, including unemployment, would be tackled if the potential in the oil and gas sectors were fully exploited.