Uzo Nwagwu, chief operating officer, GE Oil & Gas Nigeria, revealed recently that the company has completed the first refurbishment of subsea production trees at its service base in Onne, Rivers State.
This move, the company said, highlights its commitment to investing in Nigeria and demonstrating the high-value services offered close to its customers’ operations.
He said the milestone was achieved under a contract awarded by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo).
Nwagwu said the GE team of trained Nigerian engineers successfully dis-assembled the subsea trees to component parts before repairing and rebuilding them in accordance with customer requirements, pointing out that “it is the first time a production tree has been completely refurbished in Nigeria.”
The refurbishment programme includes incoming deck-testing and an integrated performance test after refurbishment.
“The development demonstrates GE’s commitment to localising operations in Nigeria through capacity development, technology transfer and capital investment. This is resulting in the creation of high quality employment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria,” Nwagwu said.
In support of this programme, last year, GE Oil & Gas unveiled the recruitment of 30 engineers and technicians, some of whom were sent to GE facilities in Brazil for training. They acquired the skill sets required to support tree repair and for local assembly and testing of new equipment. Thousands of man-hours and hundreds of spare parts, procured by the local team, were used in the refurbishment of the first tree. More than $1.5 million was spent with Nigerian sub-suppliers supporting various parts of the work scope for each tree.
An elated Lazarus Angbazo, president and CEO, GE Nigeria, said “GE Oil & Gas is continuously seeking to increase the competitiveness of the solutions for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The tree refurbishment programme will give Nigeria-based operators the opportunity to buy locally, avoid delivery delays and save cost while supporting the growth of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
Speaking also, Tony Attah, managing director, SNEPCo, touted the delivery of the first fully refurbished subsea tree system in Nigeria as another example of how partnerships can be deployed to strengthen local capacity in the country’s subsea oil and gas sector.
“We’re indeed pleased to be part of this pioneering effort which promises to deliver projects on time, safely and within cost estimates,” he said.
Operating since 2002, GE’s purpose-built facility in Onne is the first quayside facility of its calibre in Nigeria.

Johnson Alabi
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