The Nigerian federal government in partnership with the Bayelsa State Government and Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC) is set up to establish an Oil and Gas Museum and Research Center at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State sixty-four years after the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in the town.
The project is being promoted by four key institutions, namely the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Shell Petroleum and Development Company (SPDC) and the Bayelsa State Government.
According to the government, the Oil and Gas Museum and Research Center presented a unique opportunity to correct a historical oversight, noting that the museum would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil sector, similar to what is obtainable in other oil producing nations.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva outlined the project execution plan, noting that the project would be fast-tracked, with pre-construction activities lasting for 8 months while actual construction should be completed within 36 months from the date of commencement.
Recalling that the project had been on the drawing board for over three decades, the Minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting his approval in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact.
According to him “Mr. President approved the establishment of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center (OMRC) as part of his signature programs that would leave behind enduring legacies and impact the Oil and Gas Community, the people of the Niger Delta, and indeed the entire country.”
Providing details of the project, the Minister stated that “it consists of the construction of a Museum where historic developments, data, equipment, and tools used in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be stored for posterity and the construction of a functional Research Center where prototypes can be tested and validated in fulfillment of the requirement for approval of new technologies.”
He expressed hope that the Research facility will close a major gap in the nation’s quest for home grown technology inputs required to service Exploration and Production activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry
To ensure sustainability, the project adopted a development model that will leverage the benefits of public-private partnership, inter-agency collaboration, and inter-governmental alignment, so as to optimize resource utilization and ensure that the Oloibiri monument meets international standards, Sylva explained.
A critical success factor to timely project execution is the establishment of an optimal governance structure with clear reporting lines, key performance indicators and quality resource team he said. He added that two committees and five project teams have been created to provide necessary support and supervision essential to deliver the OMRC project.