Declining reserves: Urgent assessment of shale, coal, bitumen imperative – Experts

Nigeria oil reserve portfolio.

Nigeria oil reserve portfolio.

Kunle Kalejaye

10 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Experts in Nigeria’s Energy sector including technocrats and academia have urged the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, commence assessment of the nation’s shale oil and gas potential, and coal deposits within the Anambra basin to address declining crude oil reserves.

‎They also urged government to commence assessment of hydrocarbon potential of parallic shale sequences within the Agbada and Akata shale formations.

‎The call was made during a two days forum held recently in Port Harcourt on Nigeria’s petroleum and power sector policy organised by Emerald Energy Institute, EE, University of Port Harcourt, in collaboration with the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics, NAEE; the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan, CPEEL; and the International Institute for Petroleum, Energy Law and Policy, IIPELP.

They argued that these steps must be taken by the present administration in order to make the country more competitive in Africa and boost petroleum contribution to the country Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

During the panel discussion segment, participants noted that ‎government should as a matter of priority‎ incentivise oil and gas exploration and production to encourage companies, and to invest in power generation, as this will aid gas production for power generation, and consequently, transmission to the national grid.

At the end of the forum, in a two page communique, it was also agreed that government should decentralise off-grid electrification based on standardisation system, in other to provide electricity for remote rural households not covered by the national grid.

According to communique, the panellist noted that government should “incentivise the mix of renewable energy sources with fossil fuel back up, in other to provide affordable power capacity to homes and industries on demand.

“Government should involve or encourage private sector participation in provision of investment capital needed for electricity infrastructure development; develop market for electricity infrastructure and adequate policy framework to encourage private investment in the power sector.

“They should institute market-based energy sector reforms including pricing policies to provide the necessary incentives for consumers and producers to use and produce energy efficiently; enable institutional support that will encourage the culture of sound energy management in the industrial sector.

“There should be well-focused government intervention to support efficient utilization of abundant domestic renewable energy sources by the private sector.
Review and implement the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

“NNPC should, as stipulated in the PIB, operate as an incorporated joint venture, thus, they should source for capital from the financial markets.

“They should begin to explore her non-conventional hydrocarbon sources, as there is currently no commercial production of unconventional gas; as evidences abounds which confirms the presence of unconventional hydrocarbon resources within the Agbada formation.

“More so, there are existing geological, geo-chemical, petro-physical and basin modeling data that can be systematically integrated to identify and interpret locations of these resources in Nigeria.
Emphasize greater prudence in management of our petroleum and energy resources to guarantee sustainability. This can be achieved through instituting ”

The forum had in attendance, Prof. Joseph AJienka (Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt); Dr. Osten O. Olorunsola (Former DPR Director), Dr. Jude Amaefule (Vice Chairman/CEO, Emerald Energy Resources Ltd); Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, Prof. Wumi Iledare (Director, EEI), Prof. Adeola Adenikinju (Director, CPEEL), Prof. Chijioke Nwaozuzu (Deputy Director, EEI), Prof. Adewale Dosunmu (Dean, Graduate School of Advanced Engineering Technology, University of Port Harcourt) and other panel discussants.

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