Local participation in oil and gas sector deepens…as DNV GL BmS JV Limited is unveiled

Bernard Lomotey, left in a handshake with Frederick Asamoah

The nation’s dream of seeing more local participation in the oil and gas sector is becoming reality as BenMarine Offshore Services, an indigenous maritime services and consultancy company, and DNV GL AS, a Norwegian quality assurance and risk management company, have formed a joint venture to render better services to players in the oil and gas industry.

The new entity, known as DNV GL BmS Ghana JV Limited, is expected to merge the visions of two very reputable companies in the maritime and oil and gas industry. It also seeks to introduce a new phase in the two industries by providing the most quality and eco-friendly services, and will keep exploring more innovative ways to bring customers the best.

Managing Director of the new entity, Frederick Asamoah, noted that for the local economy a JV creates employment for the youth, retains revenues and allows for the transfer of knowledge from a foreign entity to a local one.

“The JV will really drive local content and local participation in the oil and gas sector. Local participation comes in when a JV is formed and the knowledge is transferred to an entity rather than an individual, and so I think that the JV will form part of local participation, which is best for the economy,” he said.

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He explained that the new entity will be undertaking businesses in technical assurance – verification, certification and verification services, training; risk management advisory – asset risk management, safety risk management, environmental risk management, enterprise risk management; technical advisory – technical qualification, technical assessment, and in-service integrity.

Others are technical assurance – inspection, vendor inspection, surveillance and expediting, site inspection, in-service inspection; marine warranty surveys – engineering document review and approval, on-site surveillance and surveys; Marine Surveys – Offshore Vessels Inspection Database (OVID) surveys/audits, Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) surveys/audits, Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) tanker inspections, on/off-hire surveys, condition & suitability surveys of various types and scopes, and marine technical due diligence.

“Our JV is mainly on technical consultancy and advisory service. We serve mainly as a third-party. For example, there is the oil company and someone providing them with a service. They both need technical assurance. It is just like the FDA certifying foods and drugs for consumption by the general public.

“In the oil and gas industry, you always need a third-party to offer its technical expertise and advice before a service or product is delivered,” he said.

Mr. Asamoah urged the Petroleum Commission, the industry’s regulator to enforce the JV because that will be the right way to deepen local participation. “It is the regulator who must ensure that knowledge is being transferred – not on paper, but actually. For now, it is just paperwork; the real essence of this JV will show when works are being audited by the regulator, the Petroleum Commission. The Petroleum Commission has to conduct regular audits.”

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The joint venture is in compliance with the Petroleum Commission Regulations and Local Content Law, LI2204.

Bernard Lomotey, Deputy Managing Director of the joint venture, stressed that the JV is a big deal because there will be a lot of knowledge transfer to the locals and local participation, and inputs into the oil and gas sector will improve significantly.

“What it means is that services for which hitherto companies would have to reach out to DNV GL AS or other foreign companies can now be sought in Ghana. This is about asset management, risk assurance and verification, and these are critical to the oil and gas industry. We do the analysis of our work process to see if it is okay to proceed,” he said.

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