With many multinational companies divesting interests away from Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) ,has expressed confidence in indigenous firms to fill the gaps left by International Oil Companies (IOCs).Indeed, the association stated that more fresh investments are still expected in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, saying that apart from the Niger-Delta operating in one of the sedimentary basins, there are six sedimentary basins that are unexplored.
According to NAPE President, Ajibola Oyebamiji, the association championed the cause to engage indigenous oil company’s involvement in marginal field operations, saying that the oil blocks Chevron divested interest from has been taken over by Niger-Delta Exploration and Production Company, a firm he said, is currently producing over half a trillion standard cubic feet of gas in the country.
“This is a testimony that the Niger Delta Exploration and Production Company has testified to the fact that it is possible for National oil and gas companies to fill in gaps that are being left by the multinationals,” he said. Oyebamiji stated this on the sidelines of the association’s monthly technical meeting in Lagos.
The NAPE boss noted that the oil and gas industry has witnessed a lot of improvement in the past four years as against the era of dwindling global oil prices, adding that the industry has witnessed some significant level of progress.He pointed out that the challenge with renewable is still much present, urging stakeholders in the industry to continually develop and manage the renewable energy sector.
“We organised a conference last year, where we have started talking to the industry about renewable energy, but whether we like it or not, oil and gas plays a very prominent role in the development of any nation and we are also saying that renewable has come to stay, but I do not see any form of competition etween oil and gas and the renewable industry. Gas is even cleaner energy,” he added.
Delivering a presentation tagged “Reminiscences on my 40+ year journey in the oil and gas industry in Africa”, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, Dr. Layi Fatona, said the major challenge hindering the development of the sector is that Nigerians do not believe in each other’s capabilities.He said no foreigner would derive joy-developing Nigeria, as he called on stakeholders to invest aggressively in human capacity development.
He stated that there is a dearth of research and development in Nigeria, stressing that no nation can develop without research and development.He urged upcoming indigenous oil companies to replace IOCs, prioritizing investment on human capacity development.
He said Nigeria’s petroleum industry is still plagued with myriads of challenges such as insecurity, lack of infrastructure, but stated that a safe environment, adequate funding, and development of human capacity, Nigeria’s petroleum industry looks good to go.