By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that oil and gas will continue to be relevant and play a major part in the energy mix in the foreseeable future. Adding that “Nigeria’s approach towards the climate-change-net-zero-emission debate is to optimize the use of our abundant gas resource domestically as a transition fuel option towards meeting our Nationally Determined Contributions on climate change”.
Sundiata Post recalls that Nigeria currently has a huge gas reserve of about 600 trillion scf of gas deposit.
He stated this while delivering an address at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council-44th Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) 2021 virtually, on Tuesday.
The Minister said Nigeria will leverage on its huge gas reserve as a transition fuel option in the country.
He maintained that “as a government, we are determined to encourage more penetration of natural gas and its derivatives for domestic utilization, power generation, gas-based industries and propulsion in all aspects of the national economy. This would in a fundamental manner address the great challenge posed by volatile oil market, the environmental issues and public health concerns”.
While agreeing with the projection by some energy experts that energy transition to low carbon energy sources would make the world a better living place with a cleaner climate, Sylva said however that “this process of change has to happen by way of a simultaneous global effort of transitioning national economies to the use of low carbon energy solutions”.
He added that it is “an assumption that all national economies are driven by the same parameters and does not take into account the different socio-economic, political and developmental peculiarities of individual nations”.
The minister said that despite the assurances of the country to continue to invest in the hydrocarbon sector, “the Government of Nigeria in collaboration with global partners is exploring policies, technologies and investments to address the current global challenge that will support migration from our reliance on carbon dependent fuels to meeting our commitment to the Paris Agreement”.
Regarding the global oil market in the foreseeable years, he said “it is becoming obvious that a global migration from a fossil fuel-based economy to renewable would engender a corresponding decline in hydrocarbon including possible divestiture in the sector as deliberate frameworks are being championed to discourage extraction of carbon-laden resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic has further exacerbated the investment decline”.
He challenged petroleum engineers in the country to be at the “forefront of our quest to achieve the desired balance of clean environment, safe public health and a renewed global oil market”.
“This SPE Annual International Conference and Exhibition will be an appropriate platform to bring to the front-burner the critical discussions that would forge a robust and implementable clean energy solutions pathway for Nigeria,” he said.