Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The federal government and operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry would be expected to leverage the upcoming Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) to find solutions to current and future challenges of the industry, organisers of the maiden edition of conference have disclosed.

In a statement to explain the level of work that has gone into setting up the conference which is scheduled to hold in February in Abuja, the Project Director, Mr. James Shindi, stated that the conference has garnered a lot of interests from key stakeholders, adding that the government’s support for it has also being immense.

Shindi, noted that with about 37 billion barrels of oil reserves and 192 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves, Nigeria still remains a major petroleum producing and exporting destination in the Gulf of Guinea, and that while a bulk of these endowments have not being developed, the conference would offer stakeholders a chance at looking into ways to make the most of it.

He also explained that current and future challenges of the industry would be discussed at the conference and potential solutions sourced to address them.
“As part of the on-going reforms in the sector and as a contribution to the Nigerian and African oil and gas industry, the federal government took a formal position to stage an annual national resource event backed at the highest level and which will create the perfect platform for cross pollination of ideas, networking, business and local content development, government to business, business to business, government to government and other linkages while promoting Nigeria as a business and tourism destination to the global energy community,” said Shindi.

He noted that the government has extended invitations to member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members, as well as national oil companies to attend the conference.
“As Africa’s largest and most influential oil producer, Nigeria has continued to play a leading role in the global energy space and this event creates another outlet for Nigeria to lead the way in Africa’s response to the various challenges facing the oil and gas industry.

“From the government’s point of view, this event will enable them glean ideas and feedback from operators in the industry because the event is deliberately designed to be more than just another talk show. The aim is to discuss topical issues, offer recommendations which can be tracked so that in another 12 months when we gather again, it becomes easy to assess where we were back then, where we are at present and where we could likely be over short, medium and long term,” he added.