Nigerian Gov’t tasks experts on future of hydrocarbons

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipriye Sylva.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipriye Sylva.
Story from Sunday OGWUCHE, Abuja

The Nigerian Government has charged experts and other stakeholders to work towards the future of hydrocarbons in the country.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipriye Sylva gave the charge on Monday in his speech at the opening of the ongoing 3-day, 4th edition of Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) taking place at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

This is coming even as global de-carbonisation campaigns are in top gear to ensure the use of hydrocarbons and other energy sources that result in greenhouse emission-a factor known to be the chief driver of climate change is gradually reduced to the barest minimum and eventually eliminated.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), approved in May 2019, Nigeria’s National Action Plan to reduce short-lived climate pollutants aimed to improve air quality and reduce Nigeria’s contribution to climate change.

Sylva said experts should be deeply concerned about “the future of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon industry and how to return to the attractive industry performance of the pre-pandemic era.

The Minister who noted that the emphasis is on lowering the cost of energy in future said “The industry needs to drive down the cost per barrel before it is exterminated by prices due to huge production cost – a phenomenon we experienced at the outset of the pandemic.

“Given that 80% of the global energy mix by 2040 will still be a hydrocarbon, we cannot turn our back on more exploration, the discovery of new fields is crucial, and we also need to address short term opportunities using existing technology that can extend the life of mature fields.

“Nobody should doubt our commitment in this regard, given our bold move to issue new marginal field licences recently.”

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had last week in Abuja officially awarded 57 oil fields to successful investors in the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round programme, exactly one year after the journey began on June 1, 2020, with the launch of a processing portal.

57 oil fields located on land, swamp, and off-shore terrains were put on offer.

Speaking at a brief award ceremony, the Director/CEO, DPR, Engr Sarki Auwalu, said 161 companies were eventually shortlisted as potential awardees out of which 50% that had met all the conditions are eligible for the award.

Engr Auwalu said DPR would not rest on its oars as the post-award phase began but would continue to support and guide the awarded marginal field operators to achieve speedy development.

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