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ExxonMobil has pioneered the use of made in Nigeria pipes in the oil and gas industry. And the company is set to deploy Helical Submerged Arc Welded (HSAW) pipes fabricated locally by SCC Pipe Mills for its Usari-Idoho pipeline replacement project in Akwa Ibom State.

The project is in the shallow water oil fields of ExxonMobil and the pipes will be used to replace the 24-inch oil pipeline connecting the Usari and Idoho platforms, which has a water depth of 21 metres.

This is the first time made in Nigeria pipes will be used for an oil and gas project in the country by any international or local company and is expected to unlock investments in pipe mills and other oil industry support facilities.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Ernest Nwapa, disclosed this in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, at a meeting with representatives of China’s major welded line pipe maker, Jiangsu Yulong Steel Pipe, led by its Director of Sales, Mr. M. A. Abbas. According to him, a number of investors had firmed up plans to establish pipe mills and related facilities in Calabar, Koko and Gbaran Ubie, but were delaying their Final Investment Decisions over concerns that SCC, which had invested in a pipe mill in the country, was not being patronised by the industry. He described the use of SCC pipes by ExxonMobil as a breakthrough in the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and a strong signal that the government would ensure that any investment in oil and gas industry support facilities would be protected and patronised.

Nwapa further advised serious investors to accelerate their projects so as to take advantage of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan infrastructure project and the Calabar-AKK pipeline project, which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is promoting on behalf of the Federal Government.