ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Nigerian oil and gas industry is growing steadily across several fronts despite reduced investments due to the global quest for cleaner energy and divestments of some onshore and shallow assets by a few international oil companies, the Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Kesiye Wabote has said.
He gave the assessment on Monday while delivering the keynote address at the 3rd Biennial International Conference on Hydrocarbon Science and Technology, organised by the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in Abuja, with the theme “The Future of the Oil and Gas Industry: Opportunities, Challenges, and Development.”
He identified the industry’s positive trends to include the growth of oil reserves, gas production, gas utilisation, local refining, and skills acquisition, noting that they “portend great opportunities for the future of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”
He suggested that the manifestation of these trends and projections could lead to Nigeria achieving zero crude oil export and becoming a gas-powered economy, which translates to the socio-economic development of the nation.
According to him, achieving zero crude oil export would mean that Nigeria fully refines all the oil produced from our fields and exports excess refined products, noting that the impact on in-country value addition will be massive on our GDP.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria would meet the target in view of the various refining investments such as the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery, the Bua group refinery project, Waltersmith modular refinery, Duport Midstream refinery, OPAC Refinery, Edo Refinery, Aradel Holdings refinery as well as the existing 445,000 barrels per day capacity from the Kaduna, Warri, and Port Harcourt refineries.
The realization of these projects would culminate in Nigeria achieving a combined refining capacity of approximately 1.5 million barrels per day by 2025, he added.
Dwelling on the growth trends in gas, the Executive Secretary stated that Nigeria’s proven gas reserves stand at 208.83 TCF, although the nation’s gas production had dropped from an average of 4.8 billion standard cubic feet per day in 2020 to 4.3bscf/day in 2022.
He stated that the renewed focus on gas production and utilization of gas within the declared Decade of Gas program, coupled with the various upstream and midstream gas development projects would turn the tide and lead to a 50% increase in the volume of gas that will be produced and utilized in-country. Some of the projects on the cards include H-block gas development projects, NLNG Train 7 project, UTM Offshore Limited’s Floating LNG project, and other mini-LNG and CNG projects.
This envisioned outcome, he said, would lead to the nationwide adoption of gas for power generation, domestic cooking, Autogas, and utilization in methanol, fertilizer production, and other industrial applications, with Nigeria harnessing the vast potential of its natural gas reserves.
Delivering his remarks at the event, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri challenged participants at the conference to develop homegrown solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian oil and gas industry, some of which are pipeline vandalism and low productivity. He mandated all the agencies in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to collaborate closely to invent relevant technological solutions needed to address challenges in the industry. He reiterated that all efforts must be directed towards increasing Nigeria’s crude oil production and enhancing revenue from crude oil sales.
Also making a presentation, the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Farouq Ibraham recognised that the energy landscape was evolving and emphasized the dual imperatives of sustainability and innovation. He articulated the pivotal role that the oil and gas industry must play in shaping a responsible, low-carbon energy future while navigating a dynamic world of opportunities and challenges.
The APPO scribe further underscored the significance of collaborative research and development among African oil-producing nations, with the goal of driving transformative solutions and ensuring safe, efficient, and environmentally conscientious hydrocarbon operations.