The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, yesterday exposed the international community to the $48 billion oil and gas potential in the country.
Speaking on “Future Exploration Hotspots: Opportunities for Africa’s Oil & Gas Industry” at the 2019 International Petroleum Week Conference in London, United Kingdom, he urged foreigners to tap into the opportunities.
According to him, the openings are in exploration and production, especially the oil basins, where the corporation recently began drilling activities.
Baru hinted that the national oil company’s Frontier Exploration Service was drilling the Kolmani River-2 Well where desktop estimates showed that about 400bcf of gas are to be seen.
He stressed that several new frontiers abound in the country, even as offshore discoveries had mostly been limited to between 1,000 and 1,500m of water depth.
More so, the new discoveries are subject to verification, according to a statement from the corporation in Abuja.
The NNPC GMD stated that the continent’s energy outlook was looking positive amid difficult operating and economic headwinds.
In his view, over 41billion barrels of oil and 319 trillion cubic feet of gas were yet to be discovered in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, while exploratory success in the region was 45 per cent between 2008 and 2017.
He said: “There has been a surge in the capital expenditure (CAPEX) across Africa’s oil and gas sector with close to $194 billion earmarked for 2018 to 2025 on 93 upcoming oil and gas fields on the continent.
“Out of this amount, Nigeria accounts for $48.04 billion (over 24.8 per cent) of the total CAPEX coming into upcoming projects in Africa, with over 20 planned ones.”
Baru observed that 23.8 per cent of the expenditure would be on Mozambique, 11.3 per cent for Angola while 29.2 per cent would go to Tanzania, Senegal, Mauritania, Uganda, Egypt, Algeria and Kenya.
The GMD informed that with over 14 oil-producing nations, Africa currently produces 7.5 per cent (126.5 billion barrels of crude oil) and 7.1 per cent (488tcf of gas) globally.
He maintained that in terms of production, the continent accounts for 8.7 per cent (8.1million barrels per day) of oil and 6.1 per cent (21.8bscfd) of gas worldwide, even as it consumes four million barrels of oil and 13.7bscfd of gas daily.
The NNPC chief executive submitted that unless issues related to legal and regulatory uncertainties, lack of infrastructure, skilled manpower shortage, transparency and accountability were addressed, the continent may not maximise the benefits of its oil and gas industry.