… as PETAN vows to sanitise standards by service providers
… Kachikwu’s absence disappoints foreign investors
By Samuel. Ibiyemi Houston, Texas (USA)
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru said that better technology is the only solution to reduce cost of oil production per barrel so as to make it cheaper and attractive to buyers in the international market.
Unfortunately the outgoing Minister of State of Petroleum Dr Ibe Kachikwu was absent for the second time at OTC attended by the Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon who visited the Korean Pavilion. The presence of the Minister would have help to endorse the position of the GMD on the policy needed for low cost of oil production and attraction of international investors to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. Such an endorse would have also help to boost sales of Nigeria’s crude in the international market which had suffered low patronage recently.
Despite participation annually by ministers and heads of National Oil Companies across the globe in OTC, it would be recalled that Kachikwu had described participation of Nigeria in OTC as jamboree and directed Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to cut down on participation in a global event.
Hence, stakeholders lamented that his absence is counter-productive to the effort of industry operators and service providers in securing endorsement of opportunities for foreign partners. “The absence of your Petroleum Minister, implies that Nigeria is not prepared for any programmes to sell to the global oil community and attract investors to the oil and gas industry which remains the nation’s mainstay of revenue generation. We left our office in China with the hope of getting an mean, they claimed has reduced attraction of government officials and chief executive officials of upstream companies from other countries to workshops and Nigeria’s pavilion.
Several announcement by the outgoing minister of plans by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to offer new blocks for licensing round in the deep, swallow and onshore terrains also enedd up in newspapers as mere talk shows. Beside, his proposed marginal fields licensing round also failed to materialize during his period of three and half years described by stakeholders as misfortune for the upstream sector.
Hence, opportunity lost by Nigeria due to the absence of the Minister became a blessing for Ghana and others.
OTC Board of Directors Chairman Wafik Beydoun said.” From an international viewpoint, the inaugural Around the World Series offered analysis of offshore growth in nine featured countries-among them Mexico, Guyana and Ghana-and opportunities for investments and licensing.”
However, Dr Baru who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream, Engr. Bello Rabiu on the sideline of the OTC assured investors that the corporation will continue to invest in technology and support members of PETAN to ensure that activities in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is driven with the best modern technology.
According to Baru :”It is very important for us to show that we can produce at less cost. And the only way we can continue to bring our cost down is when we have better technology. Technology can only be seen to be better if it delivers results at lower cost. And that is what I see here,” Baru noted, shortly after going round exhibiting companies at the Nigerian Pavilion.
The NNPC GMD who was delighted by the performance of Nigerian companies at the annual conference over the years, particularly noted that the corporation was doing everything at its disposal to acquire seismic data using 2D, 3D, 4D and other latest technology in the industry.
“There are a lot of Nigerian companies participating here as well. So we are at a stage where we can say clearly that we are well-aligned with everything that is going on in the world in terms of technology,” he added.
He said since 1993, offshore development in Nigeria had witnessed tremendous development, as according to him, it was great to see several Nigerian companies now producing offshore in Nigeria.
In his acceptance of the need for global exposure at international conferences, he described the OTC as an avenue where local entrepreneurs work together with other global experts towards building capacity in-country, Dr. Baru stressed that it was extremely important for Nigerian companies to continue to participate because “if you don’t touch base with technology, you cannot develop.”
The Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) and Nigeria’s OTC Partner organisation, Mr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor in his earlier remark announced the introduction of PETAN Seal of Quality (PSQ) as the effort of the association at bringing the much needed sanity to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. According to him, PSQ seeks to provide the required minimum standard to be met by any service provider in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. “PETAN is implementing this PSQ in partnership with Bureau Veritas (BV),” he noted.
Okoroafor affirmed that Nigeria’s participation at the OTC over the years has been beneficial to the Nigerian oil and gas industry. This, he said has also provided huge opportunities for Nigerian producing companies. Service companies and government;s agencies to grow capacity and enhance industry activities. “These have had direct bearings on the Nation;s economy. Nigerian companies have formed oartnerships that have resulted in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the oil and gas sector and the larger economy
He thanked NNPC for its consistent support towards the nation’s participation at the annual showpiece.
“It has always been an opportunity for Nigerian entrepreneurs to come to Houston, experience cutting-edge technology, share ideas and more significantly, work towards reducing the cost of production in Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry,” Okoroafor stated.
About 40 Nigerian companies participated in this year’s OTC, which is the 50th edition.