he Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), has expressed concern about the delay in the signing of the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the $13.5 billion Zabazaba Deepwater Project by different oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region.

The IYC in a statement signed by its spokesman, Daniel Dasimaka on Thursday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state quoted the national president of the group, Barr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo, as saying that the body will continue to fight to prevent the Zabazaba deepwater project being abandoned like Brass LNG project.

The $13.5 billion Zabazaba oilfield is located in the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) which is 245 offshore Nigeria in the Niger Delta near Gulf of Guinea, and it was proposed by the Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE), Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and Nigeria Agip Exploration company who jointly developed the project to boost the country’s economy.

IYC president said: “We do not want the Zabazaba Deepeater Project to go the way of the Brass LNG which never saw the light of the day. We want jobs for our youths. We want the local economy of the Niger Delta region to get boosted as well as the national economy to grow. We want development in the Niger Delta region. We want peace. Hence, we condemn the unnecessary delay in the signing of the FID for the Zabazaba oilfield”.

“That is why we in IYC are deeply worried about the 2020 first production date of the Zabazaba oilfield, because the project may be compromised if the FID remains unsigned

“If the project is implemented, it will be a major boost to the country’s economy and the local content initiative, which I believe the present government is promoting and prioritised, so the deepwater project will support small and medium enterprises in Nigeria, and the decision by the developers for in-country fabrication and integration of the topsides of the Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessels is also commendable.” He said.

It was gathered that the Zabazaba deepwater field is estimated to hold 560 million barrels of oil equivalent, which will increase the country’s daily crude oil production and when the project becomes fully operational, it is expected to generate at least $8 Billion for Nigeria.

He said that Agip and Shell acquired OPL 245 at the cost of $1.3 billion in 2012, which they later named as the Zabazaba field.