15 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Wednesday, said it had received proposals for projects that would see to the development of refining catalysts locally, using 100 percent local materials.
The proposal was among five other research projects showcased at the 2017/2018 PTDF annual oil and gas research grant competition close out seminar in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Mr. Bello Gusau, stated that the Fund’s management traveled to the Kaduna refinery and in the cause of discussions, found out that the refinery is lamenting about the cost of importing refining catalysts and its effect to its overall operations.
He said, “Hitherto, this country has been importing catalysts for refining processes and one of our researchers have developed a Zeolite Catalyst for the purposes of import substitution and using 100 percent local materials. That is one of the issues that would be presented. I am happy to note that this is one of the issues that we would be tackling here today.”
He noted that this was among the mandate of the PTDF, explaining that the research grant competition was aimed at looking at empirical solutions to the basic challenges and problems of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
He said, “I am happy to note that this is one of the issues that we would be tackling here today. However, the important question is what next after this event, because over the years, they have been so many ground-breaking researches in our university and various research centres.
We need to think through this. How do we go beyond mere academic exercise?”
In his presentation, one of the researchers, Mr. Chuma Okoro, Professor of Environmental Microbiology at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo in Ebonyi State, said he is working on a project focusing on the substitution of chemical biocides with green natural biocides such as cow urine.
According to Okoro, the project, if approved, properly funded and commercialized, would save the Nigerian oil and gas industry millions of dollars in foreign exchange and drastically reduce the persistent farmers-herders clashes, as it would bring about massive investments in ranching by oil and gas operators.
He noted that the aims and objectives of the project include to carry out a detailed characterization of microbial communities inhibiting some oil fields with known corrosion and souring history in Nigeria, among others.
Also speaking, Mr. Olajide Adebulehin, General Manager, Strategic Planning, disclosed that the PTDF hoped to spend around N12 million for the local aspect of it per research cycle, which would be for a period of two years, while the endowment, which is for about five years, would receive an average of N25 to N50 million per cycle.
He explained that the PTDF was sponsoring research activities in relevant fields in the oil and gas industry that would be productive and very important, as well as increase production in the petroleum industry.
He said, “We are moving away from academic research and that is why we have assembled all the eminent academicians and former professionals in the industry. We have given the grants; they have done a lot of work and they are presenting and closing out the work for this research cycle.
“In the oil and gas industry, research and development are very critical; that is what we need for the future growth of the industry.”