& Oscarline Onwuemenyi
02 May 2012, Sweetcrude, Houston, Texas – The Managing Director of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, Mr Austin Avuru has urged Nigerian indigenous Exploration and Production firms to be ready to take over the operation of the deep offshore and ultra deep oil business in Nigeria any time the multinational oil firms currently in the business divest their interest.
Avuru who spoke at the Nigerian Petroleum Technology Association (PETAN ) session at the going Offshore Technology Conference 2012, in Houston, Texas, further urged the Federal Government to support local oil and gas producers in the development of the hydrocarbon resources of the country which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
He further predicted that Nigerian oil producing firms may miss the ownership and the operation of oil in the next 10 years to foreign independent oil producers if they are not ready for the exercise.
His prediction was based on the premise that it took the multinational oil firms about 40 years to reach peak operation and divest their equities in the onshore operations to local oil producers both in Nigeria and other African countries.
He noted that the technological advancement would enable the multinationals and other international firms a period of 8 to 10 years of hitting maximum production which will lead to the divestment of their equities in the deep offshore fields in the country.
“The question is, how prepared are Nigerian oil firms to manage oil operations in the deep offshore oil production when the multinational oil firms divest their interests in the oil sector having peaked in recouping their investment in the next 10 years?
“There is the possibility of the foreign independent companies coming to take over the ownership and the operation of these vital national assets if they are ready,” he said.
Avuru, therefore, appealed to Federal government to take a cue from Norway, Brazil , China, and India in supporting the local oil and gas producers, adding that the development of the hydrocarbon resources should not be developed without Nigerian participation.