Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has been urged to undertake bid rounds for oil acreages in Nigeria at least once in every two years to help raise and keep production of oil and gas stable in the country.
A former Deputy Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Egbert Imomoh, who stated this at a recent lecture he delivered in Abuja, noted that this was necessary to help Nigeria maximise its oil resources and get more returns from it.
Speaking during the first quarterly lecture series organised by the Nigerian Content and Industry Collaboration Department of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Imomoh stated that a high frequency of bid rounds would enable the DPR attract fresh investors into the oil sector
Titled: â€œNigerian oil and gas industry: the Quo Vadis,â€ the lecture series according to the PTDF, was initiated to create more linkages between it and the industry, and also keep its workers abreast of trends in the sector.
Imomoh disclosed that Nigeriaâ€™s oil sector has remained unstable for a long period of time due to unstable prices of crude in the international market, adding that regular conduct of the bid rounds would help it overcome such fluctuations.
â€œOur industry has been very unstable against the backdrop of unstable prices of crude and what we have to do to offset that instability is to have a continuous bid rounds, because the bid rounds will attract new players that will bring in new technology .You need to have that healthy, regular injection of new people and new technology by having bid rounds at least once every two years,â€ said Imomoh.
He further explained: â€œIssuance of bid rounds every two years would give every stakeholder the opportunity to participate in the exploration of more prolific areas particularly in the Niger Delta region.
â€œTwo years will allow you to prepare and review and allow people to prepare themselves for the investments. If you look at it, the Niger Delta is full of opportunities, there are fields we have not worked on for a long time, I believe if you make them available, new players and technology will come in, that is why I say we should do it every two years,â€ he added.
According to him, the future of Nigeriaâ€™s oil and gas industry was dependent on an unrelenting and vigorous pace of exploration activities which could be made possible by regular bid rounds.
He noted that this will prevent a decline in reserves and enhance revenue generation, in addition to the country attracting new technologies and resources.
He also called for more investments in gas which he stated has the potential to become very useful to the development of Nigeriaâ€™s economy.
â€œA governance framework is therefore required to promote and manage investment in gas development,â€ he stated.
On PTDFâ€™s mandate, Imomoh, explained: â€œMuch as PTDF is working and helping to solve problems, I suggest a meeting of minds to have a clear definition of the problems and agreement to what the solution is and then we begin to proffer that solution. I believe it is something you need to work on.â€