Seplat Drives Growth in Domestic Gas Market

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Chinedu Eze

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, an indigenous energy company has said it is driving the growth of the domestic gas market to power the economy.

The Chief Executive Officer of Seplat, Mr. Roger Brown said this at the first edition of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Webinar organised by the Council and Management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), with the theme: “Perspectives of Operators and Industry Experts Post-COVID-19,” held on Tuesday.

The webinar brought together policy makers, Regulators and key players across the entire oil and gas value chain to discuss amongst other issues, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the oil and gas sector as well as its reactions to global trends, government policies, funding dynamics, key challenges, and potential shifts

The Chief Executive Officer of Seplat, Mr. Roger Brown, was represented by the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Emeka Onwuka, on a panel session titled: “Impact of COVID-19 and Oil volatility on operations, the Nigerian Gas market, Key Challenges and Forward Strategies for the industry, Funding dynamics & Capital raise Opportunities.”

According to Mr. Onwuka, “Seplat has gone more socially conscious in its operationsin its quest to drive a sustainable business, whilst promoting positive Economic, Social and Governance (ESG) impacts.

“We have had to take the renewable objective very seriously and we are currently looking at that segment of the market which is why we are very big in the midstream in terms of oil & gas. “Gas being a transition energy at this stage, because we believe that our country Nigeria which is our focus has its own climate issue. However, there is a major objective recently to displace diesel as a source of power and electricity in the country,” he said.

Responding to the impact of COVID-19 on the company, the Seplat CFO, said the company was able to sustain its operations because it already had existing protocols on the safety and health of her workers at the field, adding that it only extended the protocol to deal with the unique situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Onwuka also noted that Seplat currently supplies over 30 per cent of the domestic gas requirements of the power generation companies (GenCos) in Nigeria.
According to him, Seplat’s domestic supply of gas actually cushioned the impact of the drop in revenue in Nigeria arising from the global crude price drop.

Earlier in his keynote address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the pandemic resulted in loss of revenue and differed investments.
He stressed the need for innovation and adaptability in the industry for enhanced growth and development.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Meye Kyari, who was represented by Mrs. Rose Eshietti (designation) said that the country’s N2.6 trillion oil revenue target declined by 40 per cent as a result of twin shocks of COVID-19 and low crude oil price.

According to Kyari, the pandemic created an unprecedented and global crisis that would cause regions, countries, sectors, companies and individuals to experience reaction, resilience, recovery and adjustment for a new reality.

“The energy industry is likely to continue to struggle in the wake of the precipitous drop in oil and gas prices due to the dampened demand from the effects of COVID-19” he said.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, “the Nigerian Stock Exchange is happy to host this webinar at this critical time in our strategic and advocacy drive towards supporting the Nigerian Oil & Gas sector. The webinar is part of the Exchange’s thought leadership offerings.”