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Local Content - Lee Engineering Joins the Fray of Operators in Oil Sector

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Nigeria today is no doubt engrossed in the effort to transform the country's economy in various facets. However, one striking feature of the transformation process relates to the insistence by the Federal Government that multinational operators in the oil and gas industry adhere strictly to the guidelines on the Nigerian content policy. There seems to be a general agreement among industry watchers that what makes the Nigerian Content Act particularly auspicious is the fact that it has streamlined the pattern that policies and activities in the oil and gas sector of the economy should take. The Act, which was duly signed on April 22, 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan as the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Development Act 2010, has been widely acclaimed for opening the doors for more active participation of Nigerian entrepreneurs even in the downstream sector of the industry.

There is no doubt that LEE Engineering Company has continued to play a key role,even among globally acknowledged operators in the downstream sector of the Nigerian industry. In recent past, LEE Engineering Company had witnessed two landmark events that definitely signpost its consolidation on years of concerted efforts to make an eloquent statement for greater indigenous involvement in the mainstream of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria , especially in the upstream sector.

Some time last year, the company signed a performance enhancement agreement with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Joint Venture. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of LEE Engineering and Construction Company, Chief Leemon Ikpea, and the Managing Director/Chairman of SPDC, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu signed the landmark agreement on behalf of their respective companies. "Our focus is on helping to increase the capacity of Nigerians and Nigerian companies in a range of oil and gas industry activities; from design and engineering, to exploration and drilling," Sunmonu said on SPDC's commitment to collaboration with the Federal Government towards ensuring increased indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andy Yakubu witnessed the signing of the contract at Utorogu Gas Plant in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Utorogu gas facility, which is easily the nation's most comprehensive gas exploration and production system, is currently involved in a huge expansion project - tagged NAG2 Plant - expected to add some 150 million metric standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) to the plant's output. The old Utorogu plant, which was inaugurated on January 17, 1986, has an average capacity of 250 MMscf/d of gas; and, is the main base of the West Africa Gas Project (WAGP).

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