The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) at a press conference recently disclosed that policy inconsistency, technological challenges and the delay and non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) remain the bane of oil and gas sector development.
The group, therefore advised the federal government to restructure its policy, introduce upgraded technologies, pass the PIB, as well as improve its exploration activities or its quest to grow the reserves will remain a dream.
Chikwendu Edoziem, President of NAPE, made these assertions, when he announced the association’s 33rd yearly International Conference & Exhibition, tagged: “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.
He said: “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. Deep-water exploration well could cost you $100 million and these are investments that are huge and can’t be toyed 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-utilized, thereby leading to a mono-product economy that is largely dependent on crude export. On the forthcoming conference, scheduled to hold in 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.
Those expected at the conference include Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director, NNPC; Osagie Osunbor, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria; Tony Chukwueke, Managing Director, Tenoil among others.