Norwegian Oil Company Aker Energy has held a seminar to build the capacity of local suppliers that the company will deal with during its production activities offshore.

Currently, Aker Energy is awaiting approval of its plan of development from the government to commence drilling operations on its allocated oil block offshore by 2020.

Speaking to JoyBusiness at the Suppliers Conference on Drilling and Wells, Head of Supply Chain at Aker Energy, Edward Owusu-Manu said the conference has become necessary to acquaint prospective suppliers of the company with operational requirement.

“Should we wait and get the approval, there would be delays so we felt that it is important that we start looking at the strategy especially for drilling and wells so this is to prepare our suppliers in anticipation of the drilling that will start sometime next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company says it will comply with local content regulations of the country. This follows concerns on local content participation raised by some suppliers at the event.

“We are aware that with this new development, there might be new companies that might want to come into the industry and it is a requirement by the local legislation for every international company to partner; link up with any local company and then form joint ventures to be able to provide that service.” Mr Owusu-Manu added.

The purpose of the Aker Energy Suppliers Conference was to explain the tender process for the upcoming Drilling and Wells contracts which shall be conducted in line with the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013 (L.I 2204).

Some of the issues discussed bordered on Technical and/or upcoming opportunities, Procurement processes, Quality, Health, Safety, Security and Environment (QHSSE) in the company’s procurement process, Taxes (Reimbursement, Cash Refund and Withholding Taxes) among others.

The conference saw about 200 participants both local and international.

Aker Energy has assured its prospective suppliers of fairness in its tender process.