By Etuka Sunday
Industrial Operators in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industries yesterday in a panel discussion unanimously posited that Nigeria would not attain oil and gas potential unless normalcy is restored in the industry.
They said that until infrastructure, security, capacity building of indigenous workforce, funding, discovery of new resources, policy implementation and partnership among oil companies and Nigerian regulators are strengthened, Nigeria will not attain its potential especially as a gas power house in Africa and the world.
This is coming a day after, Nigeria’s state oil corporation, the NNPC said the prevailing gas infrastructure component of the Gas Master plan is designed to increase domestic gas consumption three fold from 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf) to 5.4 bcf per day by 2019 and a forecast of 3 million bpd target of oil production by 2020 from a stagnant 2.3m bpd.
This was the position unanimously taken by international players in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry in a panel discussion on the current operating environment and outlook for industry in Nigeria at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference yesterday in Abuja.
Also, parts of the problem identified are situations where oil has been placed as a priority to the neglect of gas.
Chairman/Managing Director Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Andrew Fawthrop said with timely implementation of the right policies and infrastructure, there’s no reason for Nigeria not to be a gas power house. He said the country should be bothered about the huge dependence on oil to the detriment of gas which according to him stands at about 184 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Giving an account of the industry trend in recent years, Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production, NNPC, MrAbiyeMembere said “The oil and gas industry didn’t start well. Basically what we are doing in the last decade is to try to correct it. We started the oil and gas industry in Nigeria only looking for oil, gas was as if it was a poisonous priduct. What happened over the last 50 years is that there is a major oil infrastructure in place and the gas infrastructure is lacking behind.”
Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director Shell Petroleum Development Company MrMutiuSunmonu said Nigeria’s oil and gas is a mixture of challenges and real threats “the bureaucracy is a major hassle, it is overwhelming, “he said.
He called for an adoption of a practical approach as means of overcoming these threats. These practical approach, he added, involve IOCs taking up projects they are able to fund, trusted partnership among industry operators and regulators and capacity building of indigenous workforce by IOCs, among others.
However, no amount of security will curb these problems because they are social problems that government must solve with the oil communities adequately carried along, according to the views of Cornelius Zegelar, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Addax Petroleum Nigeria