Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd., Mele Kyari, says resolving the security challenge in the country will bring back investments to the oil and gas sector.
He said the NNPC is working with security agencies and other stakeholders to address the issue of oil theft in the Niger Delta, which is hindering Nigeria’s ability to meet its Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota.
Kyari spoke yesterday at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) Strategic International Conference, in Lagos, themed: “Energy Transition: Shaping the Future of Nigeria’s Energy Industry, an Appraisal of PIA, Evolving Benefits and Challenges.”
He said the NNPC’s target is to increase production and bring back domestic refining capacity to ensure energy security, but being constrained by the insecurity situation.
“As you are all aware, we’re doing everything possible to contain it. Security is a major challenge regarding crude oil theft. Resolving the security challenge will surely bring back investment and will also optimise the current availability or capacity that we have.
“We know that with certainty we will resolve the security issue and we can easily come to 2.1 million barrels of oil per day,” Kyari said.
He said the government is investing in infrastructure to drive the energy transition, collaborate with security agencies, and engage the investment community to secure financing.
He added that although financing is a huge challenge for the oil and gas sector, many institutions now recognise gas as a clean energy and are willing to invest in the development of Nigeria’s abundant gas resources.
“There is a shortage of supply across the globe and we know for sure that investment in this sector is clearly unavoidable,” he added.
He said NNPC had successfully resolved the disputes it had with IOCs, relating to upstream assets to further drive investments in the sector.
Security is a major challenge regarding crude oil theft. Resolving the security challenge will surely bring back investment and will also optimise the current availability or capacity that we have.
Kyari said: “We have signed off on the Dispute Settlement Agreement with our partners in the last two to three weeks, completely.
“We have met the terms and conditions required by the Petroleum Industry Act, and also engaged our partners to have a win-win situation where all of us have given up on something.
“However, in the long term, we have gotten an opportunity for us to have investment in this sector.”
On their parts, President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, Dr James Edet; Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Council, Prof. Olalekan Olafuyi; and Senior Economist, Oando Energy Resources, Ms Ololade Olubi, decried the current spate of oil theft.
They maintained that the menace is depriving Nigeria of investors and revenue which had negatively affected the nation’s economy. (NAN)