Jan. 12, 2016

 Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi


Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi

CEO & Group Managing Director , Obijackson Group

TBY talks to Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, CEO & Group Managing Director of Obijackson Group, on the OB3 Project, current investments, and the company's facilities.


Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi obtained his BSc in Accountancy from the University of Benin and his Doctorate from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in Business Administration. He founded Obijackson West Africa Limited, of which he is CEO and Group Managing Director. He is also a Non-Executive Director and stakeholder in Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and Chairman of the Board of Neconde Energy Limited and Smile Communications Nigeria Limited. In 2011, he received the THISDAY Young Global Champion Award for excellence and good governance. In 2012, Ernest was awarded an All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) by Forbes, CNBC, and ABN for West African Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2013, Dr. Azudialu-Obiejesi received a Nigeria Advancement Award for ‘Oil and Gas Man of the Year’ and the ‘Industry Achiever’ award for Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) in 2014.

Can you tell us about the OB3 project?

The Obiafu/Obrikom-Oben Project also, known as the OB3 Project, is the largest gas pipeline ever constructed in Nigeria. It involves the construction of a major gas pipeline of 48” diameter for NNPC by Nestoil. The pipeline runs from Obrikom in Rivers state to Oben in Edo state, passing through many rivers including River Niger which it crosses at 3km width. The terminal point is in Edo State, where it connects to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS). The OB3 project is an integral part of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan, which has three pipelines, namely the OB3, the CAP, and the AKK. This will be Nigeria's first natural gas pipeline of this kind and will support the growth of the country's power industry. The OB3 pipeline project's scope includes the engineering, procurement, and construction of a 48” x 127 km class 600 gas supply pipeline project starting from Obiafu/Obrikom (OB/OB) in Rivers State, and terminating at Oben, in Edo State. The OB3 Gas Supply Pipeline System is designed to process and transport 2 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day of natural gas from OB/OB in Rivers State to Oben in Edo State with associated Custody Transfer Metering Station facilities at OB/OB and a Terminal Gas Station at the Oben Node in Edo State. An intermediate Pigging Station is located at Umukwata, Delta State at the midpoint of the pipeline. The entire scope of the project was divided into two tranches namely, Lot A and Lot B; Nestoil Limited was awarded the Lot A scope, which includes the most challenging terrain on the project's Right of Way. The scope of the Lot A tranche covers approximately 64.7km of pipeline. The project is fully on course. The OB3 is the first pipeline project in Nigeria to involve the use of 48 inch pipelines.

What returns are you expecting from these investments particularly the OML42 asset?

Our exploration and production portfolio also has substantial oil and gas resources, and we intend to drill for more oil and gas from these fields. Neconde owns 45% interest in the OML 42 Asset while the government as our JV partner owns 55% interest. This asset presently produces 42,000 bpd with a potential to produce up to 200,000 bpd. We are already investing towards this by rebuilding the vandalized facilities, constructing pipelines and preparing to drill more wells. We are projecting that by the end of 2016. We should have reached a production capacity of over 100,000 bpd, making Neconde the biggest local producer in Nigeria. In addition to an increase in oil production, the OML 42 gas investments have the capacity to deliver up to 500 million cubic feet of gas per day to the domestic market and support more than 1,300MW of electricity generation.

Could you tell us about your dry dock facility in Port Harcourt?

We own a new build shipyard that is equipped with a Floating Drydock located on our 59 ha Industrial Area in Abuloma, Port Harcourt. This modern facility was designed and built by Damen Shipyards Holland and meets highest international standards. It is equipped with a 5,000 tonnage floating drydock, 14,000sqm of modern repair facilities, an office space of 1,600sqm and a quayside length of 1,300sqm. With our highly qualified and continuously trained team, our Shipside Drydock offers a wide range of services in the repairing, overhauling, maintenance, refurbishing and upgrading of ships with its machineries and propulsions. We run 24-hour operations.