26 September 2013, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The maiden edition of the annual OB LULU BRIGGS “Round table on petroleum exploration, development and production” has recommended the need for growing our current reserve, discovery of new fields, adequate security on oil assets and funding for the exploration of new fields.
The conference which took place at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt had the theme: ‘Sustaining Investments and Reserves in the Face of Growing Challenges’.
The conference advised the government to engage the youths that are into illegal bunkering by granting them license, training and transferring refining technology to them, as part of efforts to stem the illegal refining and crude oil theft, adding that government cannot win a war of insurgency in the north and south.
The conference identified the need for a good legal frame work to secure Nigeria’s eco system, especially regarding gas flaring, enforcing the Nigerian Content Act, the passage of the PIB, and to inspire enough confidence in the IOCs to stem the tide in the recent sale of their Nigerian assets.
Regarding the entrants of new players/competitors in the industry, most speakers at the conference advised the government on the urgent need for a quick reform in the oil industry.
Speakers were unanimous in their call for Nigeria to refine crude oil locally take care of domestic consumption and harness the full potentials of petroleum by products.
The conference said domestic refining will have a multiplier effect on the economy by way of creating more jobs for the teeming jobless graduates.
Dr. Michael Whibey said failing to act in this direction will deactivate the interest of the international community in the Nigerian economy, especially as oil prices drop and oil production declines in Nigeria.
This he said will also adversely affect both the oil and non-oil sectors by way of international investments inflow into the economy.
Finally, the conference pointed out that “No nation can develop from selling solely raw materials”, adding that government/private sector must add value, and develop human capital.