Mkpoikana Udoma 07 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – French oil giant Total says its operations in Nigeria is increasingly being threatened by security challenges in the Niger Delta region.
It also said low oil prices was posing a huge challenge to its business.
Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Nigerian Limited, TEPNG, Mr. Nicolas Terraz, made this known at the 13th Anniversary and Induction of the Institute of Petroleum Studies, IPS, at the University of Port Harcourt.
He lamented that continued attack on major oil facilities in the Niger Delta by the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups operating in the region “has made business unfavourable”.
“Nigeria as a country is facing difficult times as the effects of the current economic recession become more widespread. Our industry is not insulated from the ensuing challenges as we grapple with low oil price and dwindling investments.
“We also contend with security challenges and uncertainties in the fiscal and regulatory environment. It is no longer business as usual. As a result, our company has joined the rest of the industry to seek innovative ways of cutting costs and increase efficiency,” he said.
While charging the over 41 masters degree and post-graduate diploma graduates of the IPS to imbibe the spirit of hardwork in order to reposition Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, Terraz assured that Total would remain committed to capacity building in the sector by supporting training and research.
“While our commitment to IPS will not be affected by the current economic climate, I would, however, like to challenge the management, faculty and students of IPS to get more innovative and seek creative ways of adapting long with the oil and gas industry,” he said.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale, charged the graduating students to make positive impact in the country’s petroleum sector, adding that IPS occupies a critical aspect of the society.
Prof. Lale explained that the partnership of IPS, Uniport and Institut Français du Petrol (French Petroleum Institute) for the development of critical skills and specialised manpower in the hydrocarbon industry will be greeted with pride and professionalism.
He urged the management of Total not to abandon the institute in the face of present economic challenges, stressing that the university will continue to provide enabling environment for research.