The Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Mr. Massimo Insulla, has said the Zabazaba and Etan deep water project on Oil Prospecting Licence 245 will generate $8bn for the Federal Government.

He pledged the company’s commitment to develop the project in compliance with the Nigerian Content Act to create jobs for Nigerians, a statement from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board said.

While highlighting the support and cooperation of the NCDMB since the conception of the project, Insulla said its speedy development would benefit all stakeholders.

According to him, the promoters of the deepwater project are keen to take the final investment decision and determined to make it profitable despite the sustained low price of crude oil.

Insulla stated that the company had been engaging local and international contractors in the past four months for the project.

The NAOC is developing the Zabazaba and Etan deepwater integrated project in partnership with Shell Nigeria Exploration Company, according to the statement.

The NCDMB said it would work with the NAOC to ensure speedy development of the project in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Act.

It said the two organisations reached the agreement at a review meeting on the project held at the board’s headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, with the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, and Insulla in attendance.

Wabote was quoted as saying that the NCDMB would support the execution of the Zabazaba and Etan project through timely review of contract tenders and execution of necessary approvals in view of the urgent need to increase the country’s crude oil production capacity and shore up revenue for the economy.

He, however, said the project would utilise capacities and facilities that were developed on past projects, urging the promoters to exceed the Nigerian Content performance achieved on the Egina deepwater project, including the partial integration and fabrication of the floating, production, storage and offloading platform.

Also speaking, the General Manager, Nigerian Content, NAOC, Mr. Barry Nwibani, recalled that the company organised six workshops in August and September for local and international contractors for the purposes of informing them on the Nigerian content opportunities on different packages of the project.

He said the workshops afforded contractors the opportunity to showcase their capacities and form alliances to enable them to deliver on the project in compliance with the Nigerian Content Act.

Nwibani said the feedback from the workshops confirmed that there were instances where the project’s local capacity exceeded the percentages prescribed in the Nigerian Content Act while there were occasions where existing local capacity was short of the target set in the Act.

He said the areas of significant capacity limitations would require the board’s review to enable it to decide the capacity development initiatives to be developed in place of the waivers.