‘Transparency Eliminates Hidden Costs in Oil and Gas Projects’


Ejiofor Alike

The Nigeria Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has advocated for transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, saying that transparency will eliminate all the hidden costs that make the costs of investments to be high in the country.

Speaking to journalists at the weekend ahead of the upcoming national conference of the association scheduled for next month in Lagos, the Chairman of SPE, Nigeria Council, Mr. George Kalu insisted that transparency is the enabling environment that encourages investors to sign investment decisions in the sector.

Alluding to the corruption associated with opaque oil and gas business, Kalu argued that when the oil and gas sector is opaque, investors are scared because of hidden costs, which make projects expensive.

According to him, the issues associated with the arrears of the joint venture cash calls arrangement and the contract awards in the sector must be transparent to avoid hidden costs that discourage investments.

“Once there is transparency in the oil and gas sector, it is the climate, which investors require for investment. In the oil industry, how do we change the way business is done? The issue is how can we resolve the current problems facing the oil and gas industry. On the issue of cash call arrears, are they transparent? Are we transparent in contract awards? So, if you create that environment of transparency in what we are doing, it is easier to attract investment because if there is any black spot, investors find it difficult to go into that environment because there are hidden costs. So, transparency removes hidden costs and once you are transparent, it will help solve these problems,” Kalu explained.

Kalu said the 2016 Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), which is the 40th edition of the annual conference would focus on transparency, with theme: “Transparency in the Oil and Gas Business: An Imperative for Energy Security and Stability.”

“From the above you can already have a glimpse on our focus of discussing transparency in the oil and gas business, which we believe in a period of low prices will help as a cost saving measure and increase efficiency in contracts management and ensure transparent block concessions, reduce oil communities agitation, infrastructure vandalisation, thereby reducing environmental pollution to the barest minimum,” Kalu added.

Kalu however added that there are also a number of plenary sessions such as a marginal field workshop, panel sessions and women development programme.

According to him, SPE is poised to provide unparalleled world-class opportunities for knowledge sharing, capacity building, networking and marketing of products and technology
Speaking on the activities of the petroleum engineers, Kalu said the organisation was set to build a world class energy centre in UNIPORT.

“We also recently embarked on e-Library projects in three Nigerian Universities after successfully completing one in PTI in February 2016. The Council paid a number of courtesy visits during the year and it provided important feedback for shaping our programmes for the year,” he said.

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, is the Nigerian affiliate of the SPE International, a worldwide organisation in over 147 countries with membership strength of over 143,000.

The mission of SPE is to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies for the public benefit; and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.

The Nigerian affiliate, SPE Nigeria Council was established over 40 years ago and has since been delivering on its mission to support the development of technical manpower for the industry, provide catalyse and support indigenous participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, while encouraging best practices amongst the producing companies.