May 21, 2024

Nigeria Should Increase Crude Oil, Gas Production To Avoid Importation Soon -Wabote

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Nigeria Should Increase Crude Oil, Gas Production To Avoid Importation Soon


By Ebenezer William


Mallam Mele Kyari,

The Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Kesiye Wabote, on Monday, cautioned that Nigeria might turn to importing crude oil for its upcoming and existing refineries if concerted efforts were not made to increase the current low production numbers.

This was just as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari, stated that the cost of renewable energy might hamper the adoption of clean energy in Nigeria and other countries in Africa where majority of the populations are grappling with limited economic resources.

They both made their separate remarks in Lagos State, on Monday, while their addresses at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationist’s (NAPE’s) 41st annual international conference and exhibition, with the theme: “Repositioning the Oil and Gas Industry for Future Energy Dynamics.”

Speaking further, Wabote bemoaned Nigeria’s low production of crude oil and gas despite the abundant reserves and challenged members of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and other industry stakeholders to initiate efforts to reverse the situation.

“It will be a sad outcome if we stop the importation of refined petroleum products only to replace it with the importation of crude oil for use in our local refineries,” he explained.

He emphasised that the nation’s 37 billion barrels of oil reserves needed close attention bearing in mind the various efforts at revamping the refineries and commissioning of greenfield refineries.

According to Wabote, “it will be a sad outcome if we stop the importation of refined petroleum products only to replace it with the importation of crude oil for use in our local refineries.”

He praised the important role of petroleum explorationists in the energy mix, especially in discovering, evaluating, and establishing the reliability and sustainability of the size of oil and gas reserves.

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The NCDMB Executive Secretary received an award as a token of appreciation after delivering a goodwill message at the 41st Annual International Conference and Exhibition.

The NCDMB Executive Secretary received an award as a token of appreciation after delivering a goodwill message at the 41st Annual International Conference and Exhibition.

Dwelling on gas, the Executive Secretary hinted that Nigeria has about 208 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves and about 600TCF unproven reserves. He subsequently charged petroleum explorationists to apply their skills and technology toward confirming the recoverable volumes from these unproven reserves and developing the proven reserves.

He hinted that the focus on gas is important because gas is no longer Nigeria’s transition fuel but the destination fuel.

He assured that NCDMB is committed to providing all the necessary support to realize the gas business agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

Commenting on the conference’s theme which is “Repositioning the oil and gas industry for future energy dynamics, ”the NCDMB boss noted that the world stands at a key point where adequate consideration must be made to address the Energy Trilemma, which is, achieving an appropriate balance between energy security, sustainability, and affordability.

He added that the oil and gas industry was a key pillar of global energy as it has powered and continues to power industrial and economic developments across the world.

He indicated that repositioning the Nigerian oil and gas industry for national development required collaboration and partnerships with key players and agencies across the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors and its entire value chain.

He added that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Act (2010) provided the compass to enable the development and growth of local capacities and capabilities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Wabote commended the federal government’s determination to sustain the gains realised in the oil and gas industry and the eagerness to consolidate them rather than reverse the gains of Nigerian content.

He conveyed the Board’s readiness to support various oil and gas initiatives that would ensure patronage of local investments, boost investors’ confidence, and create jobs to sustain the relative peace in the oil and gas sector.

Also, the NNPCL boss who was represented by the Executive Vice President (Upstream), NNPC, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, explained that a huge energy space that was clean and not affordable cannot be sustainable and threatened by Nigeria’s energy poverty.

He warned that if the affordability challenge was not addressed, it could potentially impede the adoption of clean energy in Nigeria.

“Cost is therefore another limitation of renewable energy and the financial barrier, saying that if not addressed, it would impede the adoption of clean energy, especially in this part of the world with very limited economic resources,” he said.

He acknowledged the role of renewables to help mitigate the adverse effect of climate change and reduce dependency on finite resources.

Kyari, added that technologies of renewables were still struggling with many limitations that were yet to be addressed.

He listed some of the challenges to include the challenge of intermittency, reliability and predictability due to geological constraints and limited control of man and nature.

Kyari added: “While battery storage technology has addressed some of the intermittency challenges of renewable energy, the storage technology itself has challenges.”

He stated that the petroleum industry which has fueled the progress of mankind for over a century was also confronted with its own inherent challenges and constraints associated with its continued production and usage.

He noted that fossil fuel continues to be a finite resource of energy which means that the world’s reliance on it was unsustainable.

He expressed worry that the process of extraction and consumption of fossil fuels continued to leave a significant adverse carbon footprint on the environment especially if not done responsibly.

“As explorationists, we play a vital role in shaping the future of the oil industry. It is through your dedication, expertise and relentless pursuit of knowledge that will continue to unlock new frontiers, discover reserves and push the boundaries of what is technologically and economically feasible,” Kyari charged.

He expressed concern that the struggles for control over oil reserves continued to drive conflicts as geopolitical tensions continue to put global stability at risk.

He predicted that the world’s energy needs would continue to increase, positing that not one energy source alone could meet all the energy demand of mankind.

He also projected that the priorities of customers would also continue to vary, depending on energy requirements geographically, technology, purchasing power, pricing systems, government policies and various other dynamics.

“The future will belong to companies that recognise this reality and position themselves to develop a balanced complementary energy portfolio that leverages innovation and technology to harness the strength of various energy sources and tailor them to meet the requirements of an ever changing demand,” he stressed.

He added that innovation and emerging technologies would drive unprecedented advancement in the energy sector from digitisation and artificial intelligence to robotics, data analytics.

He noted that these technologies were reshaping how the world explores, produces and manages its resources.

“Effective portfolio management will always be essential in navigating the complexities of the evolving energy landscape. We must be challenged in adapting our portfolio to realign with market trends, regulatory changes and evolving customer preferences,” he averred.

“The theme requires a collective effort, collaboration and a shared commitment to sustainable practices. NNPCL is dedicated to playing a leading role in this transformation, embracing exploration, development, renewables, innovation, emerging technologies and portfolio management as key drivers of our success,” he assured.

Delivering his keynote, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited, Tunde Afolabi, said for Nigeria to grow its economy and to lift millions out of poverty, there must be renewed and intentional focus on repositioning its oil and gas industry in order to take advantage of the future demand.

Represented by the Group Managing Director, Amni, Wale Olafisan, the chairman highlighted steps Nigeria must follow to reposition Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to include security and stability.

He said addressing the issues of theft, vandalism and sabotage required coordinated efforts from both the government, community, security agencies and industry collaboration.

He called for security measures to be strengthened to safeguard infrastructure, people, community and investments while also stating the need to improve the fiscal competitiveness and the regulatory ease of doing business as the nation competes for local and foreign investments.

He added that Nigeria must strategically diversify its energy portfolio mix to address the challenge of carbon emission while also provide sustainable and affordable energy to grow its economy, advising that investing in gas development projects and renewable sources would pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

On her part, the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said Nigeria as a country was vulnerable because of its dependency on fossil fuel for economic growth.

Aiboni, said 50 per cent of projected oil production was at risk in the event of Nigeria’s rapidly growing demography.

“With our population projected to double by 2050, it means that we are going to be creating more demand for the already lean resources we have if we do not do something about it,” she warned.

She stated that Nigeria has a huge energy gap despite its huge reserves, stressing the urgent need to close the gap.

She added that renewables would play a key role for Nigeria to meet its carbon neutrality target by 2060.

Aiboni, also harped on the need to embrace technology in the nation’s quest for oil and gas exploration, adding that technology advancements in the upstream oil and gas industry would open new frontiers in the sector.

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