…As Bahrain discovers 84bn barrels of oil
By Douglas Jaro
Taking a look at what is going on across the world, there are contentious issues. Nigeria is not the only country without spirit of nationalism, in the United States, there is cultural war. The country is enmeshed with globalization and multi-cultural thinking looking for something to hold onto.
Nigeria cannot be static hence the need for dynamism as political tensions and unrest mount in the Middle East over oil product pricing.
In the past, Nigeria at independence was ahead of China and India in developmental indexes. About 20 to 25 years ago, Nigeria was the only country in Africa producing oil but the scenario has changed, nearly every country in the coast of West Africa is discovering and selling oil. For instance, Bahrain, in the Middle East, discovered about 84 billion barrels of oil. This means hydrocarbon resources abound everywhere in the world and unconventional is becoming conventional.
What makes petroleum unconventional is the technology, the cost and location, buyers are becoming sellers. Looking at the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), some years ago, the US was supposed to be the number one destination for Nigeria, but today, the US is exporting LNG. Importers are becoming exporters.
The situation has gotten worst in recent years, Nigeria is nose diving and revenue that accrue to the federal government is depleting.
Oil price went as low as $35 per barrel in 2016, but it is gradually increasing within the neighbourhood of $76 per barrel. The price is volatile and for Nigeria that is a mono-product economy, it depends on price of oil for survival.
There are circumstances to contend with such as low production, low prices and reduction of revenue to the government as well. If government which is the largest employer of labour is partially cash strapped, it means the entire economy will be impacted. This is why there is need to restructure the governance of the main source of revenue to government.
Some of the issues to address are: Niger Delta militancy and insecurity are decreasing production with drastic drop in oil production because of low capacity. At present, no active exploration activities in Nigeria, no appraisal well, development wells are scanty with diminished reserves. Obviously, there is need for professionals to be poised about this ugly trend. For instance, shale oil production, investment opportunities that would have come into the country is going to shale development.
Nigeria must timely exploit her oil and gas resources to realize maximum value for rapid development of her economy, the country needs an institutional framework that will enable her attain that status.