In  February 2021, The unprecedented journey started with issuance of License to Establish (LTE) by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). The birth of a new dawn has come in history of Nigeria energy sector-The first ever Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) production plant in Nigeria to be operated by UTM Offshore Limited, an indigenous oil and gas company.
According to the statement issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) through its Head Public Affairs Department representative,  during the presentation of  the  LTE  to Mr. Julius Dediare Rone, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UTM Offshore Limited at the DPR headquarters in Abuja by Mr. Sarki Auwalu, former Executive Director, DPR  expressed the project as a very remarkable achievement in the history of Nigeria Oil and Gas sector, a scenario where a single FNLG facility  capable of  processing 176MMcfd natural gas and condensate is conceived.
Mr. Auwalu in his speech said that this milestone has demonstrated the commitment and capacity of UTM Offshore Limited to positively impact the industry as a trailblazer and in fulfillment of the promise and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians to promote indigenous participation in the oil and gas sector. He further stated that the License is a demonstration of government’s resolution to harness safe and reliable technology for the development of the oil and gas industry particularly in the area of ushering gas as a transition energy and  reiteration of  the corporation’s continue effort  in creating enabling opportunities for companies by providing the regulatory tools of licenses, permits and approvals for investors.
In response to this humbled kind gesture given to UTM Offshore, The Managing Director of UTM Offshore Limited, Mr. Julius Rone, while receiving the License promised to abide with the terms of issuance within the 24 months validity period of the LTE from the date of issuance.

Project FEED

In May 11, 2021 as to the fulfillment of the company’s unalloyed pledge towards its utmost commitment in seeing that the project follows stipulated path of timely completion and delivery, the signing of the Preliminary – Front End Engineering Design (Pre-FEED) for the first Floating LNG production plant in the West African Sub Saharan between UTM Offshore Limited, a Nigerian marine services company and JGC Corporation of Japan was performed. This was subsequently followed by another contract sighed with renowned Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) of the UK, who is now the project’s Owners Engineer and will be executing a third-party review of the Pre-FEED study. Vitol has also joined the consortium as an off-taker for the LNG.   

The Pre-FEED signing ceremony was done virtually and was coordinated by the representatives of the Project Counsel, Templars – Yemisi Awonuga and The Project Principal Consultant, Yahaska Energy Limited – Dr. Yahuza Kassim, and witnessed by the  former Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) – Engr. Sarki Auwalu; Executives representatives at JGC, KBR, Vitol, Business moguls and gentlemen of the Press.

Project Financing

In Dec 9, 2021, Nigeria’s marine and services group, UTM Offshore Limited, and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to raise $5 billion for the development of Nigeria’s first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project.   The deal which is structured in two parts would see the continental bank raising $2 billion to support the first phase with a commitment to fund the second phase of the project by another $3 billion.   

The colourful ceremony was witness and the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of UTM Offshore, Mr. Julius Rone, and President and Chairman of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah. The MoU has paved way for additional collaboration between the two establishments to support a future final investment decision (FID) on the project, which UTM has been studying and conceptualising since 2020.   

 “The UTM Offshore FLNG will be the first of such a project developed by an African company on the continent, “It will also significantly contribute to the Nigerian government’s agenda of reducing the flaring of associated gas across our industry,” MD UTM, Engr. Rone said.

 “As Africa’s FLNG industry grows, we are well-positioned to offer attractive project economics by developing shallow water gas reserves, while bringing significant environmental benefits to our industry as a whole,”  He added.

“This is a landmark project that Afreximbank takes very seriously,” President and Chairman of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah, said.

FLNG Facility

The Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Vessel is tied on Oil Mining Lease (OML) 104.The block, which contains producing Yoho field, is operated by the joint-venture of Mobil Producing Nigeria (operator, 40%) and the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC, 60%).

Floating LNG, will be fully completed in 2026 with a LNG production capacity of 1.2 mmtpa, Turret and Mooring System, Gas pre-treatment modules, LNG production modules, living quarters, self-contained power generation and utilities as well as capacities for LNG storage and offloading.

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