Oil companies compete for right to obtain local drilling technology

A bidding race has started among multinational oil giants for patent right for “Optiwell”, a made-in-Nigeria drilling technology expected to revolutionise the oil and gas industry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the technology can reduce drilling cost and bore-well problems by 62 per cent,
thereby saving companies huge sums of money and time.

An official of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), who pleaded anonymity because he was not permitted to speak on
the matter, made this disclosure to NAN in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

The source said that the technology was developed by a don in UNIPORT, Prof. Adewale Dosunmu, through the Nigerian Content
Development (NCD) policy.

He said that companies bidding for the technology’s patent included, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total,
Chevron and Agip, among others.

“The companies, in their bid to win the patent right are offering UNIPORT, and Dosunmu, juicy contracts running into millions
of dollars.

“This development is a major breakthrough for the nation’s pursuit of diversifying its dependence on oil by opening other
sectors from which Optiwell will generate revenue for the country.

“This technology, which has changed the way the drilling of crude oil, boreholes and among other field activities are being
done, was sponsored by SPDC through the NCD policy,” the official said.

The source said that the reduction in the cost of drilling was made possible by Optiwell’s ability to prevent borehole
collapse through accurate prediction of drilling-mud weight to maintain borehole stability.

According to him, the technology also neutralises radioactive materials occasioned by the abandonment of “abortive wells”,
which causes pollution to the environment.

He said the technology had enhanced confidence of multinational oil companies in indigenous research and development in the university and the country at large 

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