As the Otakikpo Marginal field in OML 11 Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State is gradually moving towards production, indigenes of Ikuru town and adjoining communities of Ayama Ekede, Ugama Ekede, Asuk ama and Asuk Oyet are in expectant mood following the arrival of 6 MW generators for the provision of uninterrupted electricity for the communities.
The electricity project which is expected to boost the economic empowerment of the fishing communities was part of the commitment of Green Energy International Ltd (GEIL), the operator of the field and its technical partner, Lekoil towards utilizing the gas produced on the marginal field for power generation and domestic gas production.
Part of the package to transform the area economically is the plan to encourage the communities to establish an industrial park, where companies can leverage on the uninterrupted electricity for industrial use and small scale industries.
The total initial cost of the electricity project is in excess of N2 billion.
Director of Sustainable Development of GEIL, Mr Ayo Olojede told newsmen in Abuja that the company is presently processing application with the regulator for the installation of gas processing facility to extract LPG and condensate from the wet associated gas from the Otakikpo wells. Under its corporate social responsibility, GEIL and its partner has designed a scheme with the communities that would involve local entrepreneurs to distribute the LPGs within and outside communities.
He stated that the company, in addition, introduced a unique community engagement strategy of embarking on community development projects under a Trust Fund costing over N1 billion in all the communities even when no oil has been lifted from the marginal field, adding that the communities have become partners in progress for the project.
It would be recalled that the Otakikpo marginal field was designed as a pilot scheme to demonstrate the applicability of the Small Scale Gas Utilization Programme (SSGUP) concept of the Federal Government to eliminate gas flaring and promote utilisation of gas derived from the field to energise the economic potentials of the oil producing communities.
It is hoped that a successful pilot phase will lead more marginal fields to embrace the concept.
This will decrease gas flaring for small and medium E&P companies in alignment with Federal Government’s zero gas flaring policy.
Meanwhile, Technical Director of the company, Dr Bunu Alibe, stated that the company has commenced a production test (“MER test”) which is a critical milestone for the company and its technical partner- Lekoil towards meeting its objective of producing the field.
The field which has the capacity of adding about 10,000 bpd to national production output within a short period of time has its 6 km pipeline nearing completion.
He thanked all the staff of the company, its stakeholders and the regulator for the success of the exercise.