20 October 2015, Lagos – UNTIL the Federal Government restructures its policy, introduces upgraded technologies, signes the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, and improves exploration activities, its quest to growing reserves will remain a dream. Disclosing this in a press conference, the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE, added that policy inconsistency, technological challenges and the delay and non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, remain the bane of oil and gas development.
President of NAPE, Mr. Chikwendu Edoziem, made these assertions, when he announced the association’s 33rd yearly International Conference & Exhibition, targged: “Global energy Dynamics and Implications for Nigeria’s Energy and Economic Security.” He argued that these challenges have continued to hamper growth in oil exploration projects, and stalled the country from advancing towards its target to grow reserve base and production.
His words: “Technology is the heart of all the significant achievements in the oil and gas industry. The way hydrocarbon is discovered, developed and produced, has been impacted by evolutionary technologies that have emerged since the Drake well of 1859.
“The perception of declining profitability and competitiveness of the Nigerian operating environment has been exacerbated by the anxiety over the fate of the PIB. Coupled with the incidence of oil and gas discoveries in other African countries, this has afforded investors greater choice of investment location to the detriment of Nigeria.”
To this end, he said industry operators are tasked to increase exploration activities. “Finding as much reserves as you produce is very important. You have a target that encourages you to exceed it. Deepwater exploration well could cost you $100 million and these are investments that are huge and can’t be toiled with.”
However, he hinted that the celebrated Niger Delta is a maturing basin with declining exploration opportunities and success ratio, while opportunities are known to abound beneath existing brown fields (operating fields), which are yet to be explored. He argued that Nigeria is currently maintaining an economically unstable negative net energy trade balance in which the nation exports virtually all the crude produced, and imports a substantial part of its refined petroleum products needs.
Consequently, other energy sources such as bitumen, coal, lignite, and shale oil are under-utilised, thereby leading to a mono product economy that is largely dependent on crude export. On the forthcoming conference, scheduled to hold from 8-12th November, 2015, Edoziem said the event will be hosting reputable practitioners, speakers, and key personnel in government and the academia, delivering technical papers on six sub-themes.
Expected to attend the conference are, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu; Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor; Managing Director, Tenoil, Mr. Tony Chukwueke. Others are the Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Accenture Upstream Strategy Consulting, Mr. Al Esher; and President, Software Integrated Solutions, SIS, Mr. Uwem Ukpong, and a host of many others.
*Ediri Ejoh & Prince Okafor – Vanguard