By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), will create wide varieties of features that will drive sustainability of the oil and gas sector.
Sylva stated this at the Virtual Nigeria Energy Transformation Summit (NEITS), organised by Society of Petroleum Engineers on Tuesday.
The theme of the summit is “Changing Global energy landscape: Strategies for industry sustainability”.
“The proposed PIB will also provide a wide variety of features to ensure that natural gas makes the optimal contribution to sustainable industry and national development in the medium to long term.
“The Petroleum Industry Bill will provide a framework for sustained and increased petroleum industry activities in terms of developing gas for domestic market.
“It will also increase oil production under competitive terms to support the goal of a stronger non-oil economy for the benefit of all,” he said.
He added that the global COVID-19 pandemic had made indigenous participation in the Oil and Gas value chain an imperative.
According to him, before the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010, Nigerians were mostly spectators in the industry.
“The last 10 years saw an exponential growth in the number of Nigerian Service Providers.
“With the pandemic, encouragement of local industry participation is now an element of national strategy.
“The proposed PIB will further encourage participation of Nigerians in the various Oil and Gas activities.
“Our declaration of 2020 as Year of Gas is now being pursued through the National Gas Expansion Programme to deepen Gas penetration and avail Nigerians options for alternative fuels and cleaner environment.
“As experts, the onus ultimately rests on you to take on the challenges and opportunities the industry and pandemic have created,” he added.
The minister added that the world fastrack race to cleaner energy through gas, cognisant of the development in other climes, was a wake-up call for Nigeria to increase efforts and reduce her dependence on oil.
He said that Nigeria must re-jig its petroleum industry and energy framework in order to chart a new course.
“On our part, all efforts are being made to sustain the current relative peace in the Niger Delta for sustained investment.
“The proposed PIB takes care of the foregoing to put Nigeria among the league of investment havens.
“It is therefore our belief that the future is bright and attractive for the Nigerian petroleum industry,” he added.
On the nation’s economy, he said that growth of the Nigerian economy was hinged on constant power supply.
He noted that Nigeria had favourable conditions to bring electricity to its citizens at modest costs compared to many other nations.
“In collaboration with stakeholders, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources wishes to ensure that we convert the massive amount of gas being flared at the moment to energy for Nigerians at affordable rates.
“Therefore, a significant network of additional gas pipelines is a priority.
“The flag-off of the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK), gas pipeline is the first important step in this direction.
“The development of an optimal framework for electricity generation based on natural gas will create a strong basis for providing electricity to all Nigerians,” he said
He added that based on increased gas production, stable and predictable gas pricing framework Nigeria would be able to attract further investment into the sector.
He noted that the industry must be aware of Government’s effort at stabilising gas pricing with the inauguration, a few weeks ago, of a gas pricing committee currently at work.
In his remarks the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, said that there was the need to use gas for economic growth of the nation.
He said that sustainability in sector was key and effort must be geared towards ensuring that businesses thrive in the country.
He said the COVID-19 had made it necessary for all to ensure cost reduction and support all effort in deepening gas penetration in the country.
“Gas is the future of our country with its huge deposit. We must support all effort to ensure we have enough gas to drive development and also for export.
“What we are doing already with infrastructure is significant and it is a work in progress which we all must support,” he said.
Also, in her key note address, Ms Shauna Noonan, SPE international President, said that energy transition must not be misunderstood with the role of oil and gas to the economy.
She said that the move for cleaner energy remained imperatives for the growth of the sector.
She added that stakeholders must collaborate to achieve cleaner energy to help in the repositioning of the sector.
She added that Nigerian remained a huge potential for the sector and very relevant in global repositioning of the sector.(NAN)