FG to Partner Oil Service Firms for Devt of Nigeria’s Oil, Gas Industry

Peter Uzoho

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has expressed the federal government’s readiness to collaborate with oilfield service companies under the umbrella of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) in a bid to develop the country’s oil and gas resources for increased production and revenue generation.

The minister gave the assurance when he visited members of PETAN in Lagos, where they had far-reaching interaction about the state of the oil sector, especially on ways to address waning investment and production decline.

 Lokpobiri, affirmed that the federal government was putting up measures to restore oil production, saying there was need for the ministry and PETAN  to work together to maximise all available opportunities that could help increase production in the country.

He noted that the quickest way for the country to overcome the current economic hardship was through the exploration and production of oil and gas.

He added, therefore, that the government was actively engaged in policy evolution, aimed at maximising the utilisation of all available oil and gas wells in the country.

Lokpobiri stated, “No country leaves their well idle, in Nigeria so many seismic activities have been done and we have a lot of oil wells that are yet to be utilized.

“Imagine, one of the OML’s has about 150 idle wells. There is no way we can increase production if these wells continue to be idle. The wells are already drilled and capped since  1970s. These are low-hanging fruits.

“Part of our policy direction is to see how we can farm out some of these idle wells for proper utilisation. Now that the world is transiting to cleaner energy, the country must use the available time to maximise the utilisation of the wells to increase production.

‘’Except we increase our production, our midstream and downstream will continue to suffer. So, I believe that I and PETAN need to work together so that we can maximise the opportunities the industry can avail us, for the economic  prosperity and development of the nation.’’

The minister said he had made a strong commitment to work with PETAN and other Nigerians in the oil and gas sector, who have shown proven capacity to ensure the growth of the sector.

He expressed conviction that the solution to Nigeria’s energy poverty was with every stakeholder, stressing that nobody or nation would come to salvage the nation’s oil and gas industry except Nigerians.

The minister said if Nigerians were allowed to play at the desirable level, there would be a lot of improvement in the petroleum sector.

He also pointed out that the essence of the Local Content law was to enable Nigerians to build strong capacity to be able to play side by side with their international counterparts.

Lokpobiri noted that Nigeria has not depleted her oil reserve, saying rather, with the increased reserve that was announced a few days ago by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), it was expedient that the Nigerian government will do all it could to drill more wells.

The NUPRC had announced a rise in Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserves as of January 1, 2024, with the country’s crude oil reserve jumping by 1.087 billion barrels and gas reserves surging by as much as 2.573 trillion Cubic Feet (TCF).

From the NUPRC’s statutory declaration, Nigeria now boasts of 37.5 billion crude oil reserves, while its total gas resources as of the beginning of this year, now stands at 209.26 TCF.

The minister said the President Bola Tinubu-led administration is doing all it could to take the nation to a better economic standing among the comity of the nations.

He affirmed that one of the cardinal points of the president was to address the nation’s energy poverty, noting that as the world is transiting, the nation must address its challenges to enable the country transit as well.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of PETAN and Chief Executive Officer of Geoplex Drillteq Limited, Mr. Wole Ogunsanya, reiterated the association’s commitment to supporting the minister and all the efforts of  President Tinubu toward increasing oil production and development of the energy sector.

 He also called on the government to see how it could grant incentives to stakeholders in a bid to ensure better output and economic benefit for the industry and the nation at large.

Ogunsanya said, ‘’Honorable Minister, we thank you and assure you that we will continue to align ourself with the vision of the president. And as we have continually said, the nation must show its indigenous capacity to explore and drill oil 100 percent.”

He affirmed his PETAN members’ readiness to help in the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

Also speaking, the Publicity Secretary of PETAN, Dr. Innocent Akuvue, assured the minister of the association’s commitment to support the federal government in its efforts to revamp the petroleum sector for exponential growth.

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