Nigeria’s Energy sector gears toward positive growth, development—Engineers

A worker inspects facilities on an upstream oil drilling platform at the Total oil platform at Amenem, 35 kilometers away from Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta. Amenem is the hub of Total oil production with two oil wells producing over 100,000 barrels of crude daily.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) says the Nigerian energy sector is gearing toward positive growth and development in 2019 with the impending kick-off of the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB).

Mr Debo Fagbami, the Chairman of SPE Nigeria Council, made the assertion while speaking in Lagos, South-West Nigeria at a pre-event news conference of the annual SPE Oloibiri programme.

He noted that apart from the PIB, other innovative regulations and reforms would stimulate the nation’s economic activity in 2019.

The programme would be a foray of the society into gas policy development in the country and sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, the lecture will attract participants from the government, heads of agencies, industry captains as well as stakeholders from across Africa.

He said the objective of SPE Oloibiri Lecture and Energy Forum (OLEF) 2019 was to stimulate discussions on how Nigeria’s energy sector could move forward along the path to sustainability:

“SPE is providing the platform for government, regulatory agencies, captains of industries and practitioners at all levels to sit together to discuss and come up with ways Nigeria can develop energy that has little or no carbon footprint.

“It will also help to develop efficient systems that require lesser energy to run and on how Nigeria’s oil and gas resources can be used to support the nation’s economic growth for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“We believe that when Nigeria’s energy mix is developed and efficiently utilized, we will have energy security, green jobs, greater national wealth for the people and foster sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.’’

The SPE chairman said there was an increase in daily crude oil production in 2018 from 2017 levels and a corresponding increase in revenue across the same period.

According to Fagbemi, passage of the PIGB (a sub-set of the PIB) into law, although awaiting Presidential assent, is expected to create a more efficient and effective working environment within the industry.

He said that the bill was different to create a more commercially driven and business oriented national oil entity.

This would in turn promote accountability and transparency across the entire value chain, thus creating the right environment for oil and gas operations and investments.

“Having said this, the delayed Presidential sign-off of the PIGB into law is raising doubts amongst investors who may begin to look outside Nigeria and into the emerging markets in other parts of the continent.

“Another developmental driver in Nigeria’s energy sector is the flare gas regulation that was Gazetted into law under the National Flare Gas Commercialization Program (NGFCP).

”The NGFCP, under the Federal Government, is able to take ownership of all flare points free of cost and pulled into a basket for interested parties to bid competitively.”

“This regulation will eliminate gas flares and any identified flare points post implementation will be subject to severe tax penalties on the part of successful bidders.

“Projects that will evolve out of the NGFCP will also further increase the energy resource base of the country with attendant job creation across the entire value chain and lead to acquisition of new skill set or skills conversion in certain cases.”

Fagbemi said that global energy demand would nearly double by 2050, adding that most of the increase would come from the world’s emerging economies as a result of population growth and improved standards of living.

He said the NGFCP would play an important role in meeting this energy challenge by harnessing Nigeria’s flare gas for sustainable value and wealth creation.

Fagbemi said that a retired diplomat at the United Nations, Prof. Chidi Ibe, would deliver the annual lecture at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum on April 25.

Other high profile speakers and contributors will include the Group Managing Director of (NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, the keynote speaker and Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SPDC), Mr Bayo Ojulare, among others.

The programme, which will be held at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) facility in Abuja, will focus on the theme: “Energy Sector Security and Development in Nigeria: The Way Forward.”

He said that the panel discussants had been selected from a cross section of the energy industry and they would provide diverse topics.

“After the event, SPE in our usual fashion, we’re going to issue a communique which will be circulated right across the energy industry to the presidency, the government, and the regulators.

“That way, we can promote a common understanding of what the takeaways of this forum are going to be,”  he added.