By Omotolani Alamu
Chevron, one of the largest oil producers in Nigeria, has also been noted for making significant investments in the country for about 60 years. The company, through CNL, its principal subsidiary in Nigeria, operates and holds a 40 percent interest in eight concessions in the onshore and near-onshore regions of the Niger Delta under a joint-venture arrangement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to internal documents, Chevron also does business through other affiliates in Nigeria, including deepwater and gas operations. Chevron entities hold acreages in three operated and six non-operated deepwater blocks, with participating interests ranging from 20 to 100 percent. For instance, the Agbami field is located 70 miles offshore the central Niger Delta, spanning 45,000 acres. This Chevron-operated field spans Oil Mining Lease (OML)127 and OML 128. Infill drilling continued in 2020 to further optimize production.
Chevron also holds a 30 percent non-operated participating interest in the Usan field in OML 138. The Aparo field in OML 132 and OML 140 and the third-party owned Bonga Southwest field in OML 118 share a common geologic structure and are planned to be developed jointly. Chevron entities hold non-operated interests in the unitized area.
CNL supplies significant portion of Nigeria’s domestic gas. Through investments in gathering and processing of associated gas, CNL has reduced routine gas flaring in its operations by over 95 percent in the last 10 years. The company works to monetize recoverable natural gas resources in the Escravos area and utilizes the gas to fuel the company’s operations, while also supplying the product to the domestic and international markets.
“We invest in our operations to improve environmental performance while working with the industry to develop innovations and best practices,” the company says. “We believe reducing gas flaring and carbon emissions make good environmental and business sense. CNL operates the Escravos Gas Plant (EGP) which has a processing capacity of 680 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day and LPG and condensate export capacity of 58,000 barrels per day.
“Chevron also operates the Escravos Gas to Liquids (EGTL) facility, which is designed to process 325 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from the EGP Phase 3A project, turning this into premium-quality, low-sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha for export. The EGTL enhances diversification and commercialization of gas resources and continues to provide great value to Nigeria through its high-quality liquid products.
“The Sonam asset, which is 40 percent owned and operated by CNL is designed to process natural gas through the EGP facility to deliver 215 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day to the domestic market. It also produces 30,000 barrels of liquids per day.”
Equally crucial is the West African Gas Pipeline of which Chevron is the largest shareholder in the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited. The company owns and operates the 421- mile (678-km) $1.2 billion flagship Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) project designed to transport up to 475 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day from Nigeria to markets in Benin Republic, Togo, and Ghana.”
Rick Kennedy, the company’s Chairman and Managing Director, explained that the company not only plays a key role in Nigeria’s economy, it also positively contributes to the social welfare of the people and creates opportunities for progress in communities close to its operations and across Nigeria.
He wrote in the report: “Our operation is founded on our values which distinguish us and guide our activities. Our employees are bound together by a shared purpose, “…to develop the affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy that enables human progress”. Our activities are anchored on our vision to be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership, and performance. Despite the downturn in the global economy and significant challenges in the oil and gas industry because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, we remained focused on delivering that vision in an ethical, responsible, and sustainable way. ..
“Our 2020 Corporate Responsibility (CR) report focuses on the highpoints of the successes we recorded during the period as well as the socioeconomic impact of our strategic social investments in the communities close to our operations and Nigeria as a whole. This report showcases how Chevron companies in Nigeria integrated the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in delivering sustainable performance in the country by protecting the environment, empowering our people, and getting results the right way – The Chevron Way. We are proud of our work in enabling human progress and are grateful to our employees, partners and stakeholders who make this work possible.”
Indeed, in 2005, CNL pioneered the community-led participatory partnership approach to community engagement in the Niger Delta to improve community participation in the social and economic development needs of communities close to its operations.
The company said this model, called the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), gives communities a greater role in managing their own development through community-based platforms known as Regional Development Committees (RDCs). The objective of the GMoU is to ensure peace, sustainable development, and stability in areas where CNL operates.
In 2015, the company launched the GMoU+ to build on the communities’ focus on growing small businesses, increasing household income and employment, and aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under these programmes, Chevron Nigeria works with the communities, governments and other partners to support strategic social investments in health, education, economic development, and other focus areas such as the environment and sports development. These partnerships and investments advance progress and strengthen the communities.
According to the 2020 CSR report, Chevron’s social investment contributions in Nigeria – since 2005 -has surpassed $500 million in the areas of economic development, health, education, and peacebuilding, directly benefiting nearly 1.6 million Nigerians.
The company has also not being lagging in the response to health social investment support for Nigeria’s COVID-19 response. One of these initiatives was its support for an industry-wide coalition under which the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture made in-kind contributions for a value of $3.2 million to the Federal Government initiative and strategy to fight the pandemic. The initiative covered three areas: the provision of medical consumables including personal protective equipment; deployment of ambulances and inpatient support systems; and delivery of medical infrastructure, equipment, and other items such as ventilators and diagnostic equipment
CNL also renovated a four-room laboratory building provided by the Delta State government. CNL, similarly, donated ten 32-seater coaster buses to the Ondo, Delta, and Lagos States Governments to aid contact-tracing efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Through its community-led participatory partnership model for community development, CNL, in partnership with the leadership of the communities neighboring its areas of operations in the Niger-Delta region, donated funds to support emergency food needs and medical services in the communities. CNL donated a complete set of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) equipment to Warri Central Hospital to enhance testing and diagnosis of COVID-19.
Additionally, a non-profit organization funded by Chevron Corporation, through the U.S-based Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI), also contributed to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. PIND developed and managed a web-based “PIND Niger Delta COVID-19 Update Center” for dissemination of accurate information regarding COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Also, medical facilities previously donated by CNL, Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited (Star Deepwater), a Chevron company, and the parties to the Agbami Unit Agreement, were used by the Nigerian government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the medical facilities include a DNA laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Mother and Child Care Centre (MCC) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, which was converted to COVID-19 holding facility; and a chest clinic in Ibadan – donated to Oyo State government, which was upgraded by the government for use as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients. A medical diagnostic laboratory donated to the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa state, was also very useful in the area.
Through its Deepwater Community Engagement Social Investment (DWCE SI) programme, Chevron Nigeria also supported various projects for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through interventions in the areas of health and education in 2020.
In the area of education, the CNL 2020 CSR report highlighted several scholarship programmes as part of the company’s drive to ensure support for inclusive and equitable quality education. From 2013 till date, for instance, 4,150 scholarships for the blind/visually impaired and nonGMoU have been awarded to students in secondary and tertiary institutions by the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture.
The NNPC/CNL JV national university scholarship awards, designed to support university undergraduates in all states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, has also received considerable funding. In 2020, a total sum of N97.2 million was paid to 972 beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the community scholarship awards, which caters for students in both secondary and tertiary institutions from communities in Chevron’s areas of operations, particularly for GMoU and Non-GMoU communities, received over N250 million annually as bursaries and administrative cost since 2009. For non-GMoU communities, awards are granted yearly through nominations submitted to CNL from the communities’ representatives. In 2020, a total of N29.28 million was paid to 684 existing beneficiaries in both secondary and tertiary institutions.
Chevron, as contained in the CSR report, also sustained its support for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) by supporting the South Africa-based African Leadership Academy (ALA) Summer Engineering Academy (SEA) in which 15 Nigerian scholars participated. SEA is part of the “AfriSTEM” programme designed by Chevron and ALA for highly motivated and talented 16 to 19-year-old high school students selected from over 45 participants drawn from more than 20 schools in Africa, all of whom are interested in a career in STEM.
Under Chevron Nigeria’s Employee Volunteering Programme (EVP), Chevron and its employees still successfully implemented two projects in three schools in Lagos and Edo states in 2020, despite the challenges of strict lockdowns and social restrictions due to actions taken in fighting the global pandemic. These were the renovation of a three classroom block at Wesley Girls Senior Secondary School, Yaba, Lagos; donation of digital learning aids to Ikota Primary School, Ikota, Lagos; and donations of Chemistry laboratory equipment to the University of Benin, Edo State.
Several organizations were also supported in 2020 through CNL’s national social investment programmes. These include the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators, the Nigerian Business Coalition Against Aids (NiBUCAA) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM). CNL also listed its support for eight charity homes in Lagos, Warri, and Abuja, with donations of food items and household supplies
CNL also listed continued its support to the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), which is managed by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF). The LCC is a 78-hectare dedicated natural land mass on the Lekki Peninsula, which serves as a sanctuary, preserving and protecting the natural flora and fauna within its enclave. The LCC’s activities and programmes further promote sound environmental practices and offer education, research and tourism opportunities to thousands of visitors and partners annually. The conservation center is the only one of its kind in Lagos State. CNL continues to meet its financial support commitments to the NCF to ensure the sustainability of the LCC.
In the report, CNL also touted its utilization of indigenous assets and Nigerian-made goods, such as its partnership with MainOne Cable Company Limited, to execute Internet Optimized Network (ION) and Internet Breakout Services Deployment project. The project, which was aimed at providing localized access to Microsoft applications and resources via the Microsoft Edge Network and deployment of local VPN ingress and internet breakout, also helped to strengthen local capabilities of other Nigerian companies such as Radial Circle, Task Systems Limited and Manifold Computers Limited.
The company also partnered with many indigenous companies to build and strengthen local capacity and capabilities during the execution of several major capital and small projects, such as the Escravos Export System Project (EESP); the Repairs and Upgrade of Tanks; as well as Research & development contracts.