By Musa Adamu
An ex Deputy Managing Director at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr Egbert Ulogo Imomoh, has advocated for more frequent bid rounds on oil acreages.
He said this would ensure the maximization of Nigeria’s oil production and generation of more revenue to finance other economic enterprises in Nigeria.
Mr Imomoh made the remark at the PTDF House, Abuja in a lecture entitled “Nigerian Oil and gas Industry: the Quo Vadis” at the first quarterly lecture series organized by the Nigerian Content and Industry Collaboration department of the Fund.
The lecture series is aimed at creating more linkages between the Fund and the industry as well as keeping the staff abreast of current trends in the oil and gas industry.
He said the oil and gas industry remained unstable for a long period of time due to unstable prices of crude in the international market and that regular conduct of the bid rounds would have the capacity to attract the needed investment.
He said the move also lead availability of technology that would lead to the growth of the sector.
He said: “Our industry has been very unstable against the backdrop of unstable prices of crude and what we have to do to offset that instability is to have a continuous bid rounds, because the bid rounds will attract new players that will bring in new technology . You need to have that healthy, regular injection of new people and new technology by having bid rounds at least once every two years.”
He said the issuance of bid rounds every two years would give every stakeholder the opportunity to participate in the exploration of more prolific areas particularly in the Niger Delta region.
“Two years will allow you to prepare and review and allow people to prepare themselves for the investments. If you look at it, the Niger Delta is full of opportunities, there are fields we have not worked on for a long time, I believe if you make them available, new players and technology will come in, that is why I say we should do it every two years.”
The first formal marginal field bid round was concluded in 2003, when the Federal Government awarded 24 marginal fields to 31 indigenous oil and gas companies. An additional 6 was later awarded bringing to 30 the number of marginal fields so far awarded in the country.
“Much as PTDF is working and helping to solve problems, I suggest a meeting of minds to have a clear definition of the problems and agreement to what the solution is and then we begin to proffer that solution. I believe it is something you need to work on.”
The Executive Secretary PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau, described Imomoh as one of the indigenous pacesetters that heralded the growth and development of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He said PTDF as part of its strategic policy to relate more with active players in the industry would continue to engage and tap from their experiences in order to increase on its visibility and linkages with the oil and gas industry.