Oge Obi
The 2017 Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) saw a drift in tide as the oil giant, Chevron Nigeria emerged the conference best exhibitor after a four-year limp to the covetous award. Rising from the third position in the previous years to the first position was said to be a testament to the oil giant’s assiduous efforts and commitment in the successful implementation of the annual event.
The categories of the award ranged from best technical papers, young professionals category to sub-committee chair persons who worked assiduously for the success of the conference.
The Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor in his opening remarks applauded the efforts that were put together in the 2017 SPE conference. The Country’s Chair who was represented by the Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, commended the cautious decision of the organisers for directing its thought on certainty of the oil industry in Nigeria and how to profitably navigate through the certainty.
Okunbor noted that the conference theme, “Riding the Waves of Boom and Bust, Common Objectives, Diverse Perspective” is most timely given the realities in the industry globally and particularly in Nigeria whose economy is depended on the revenue from oil. According to him, “despite the diverse perspectives on the issues in the industry, setting and aligning objectives may be a viable option for riding the waves, not just for survival but for sustainability and profitability.”
Speaking further, Okunbor disclosed that part of the International Oil Company’s response to the uncertainties among other actors in the industry is to constantly review and optimise its portfolio with the aim of strengthening its businesses in the area of its services. And that it is also part of its decision to continue to encourage and release its staff to play active role in professional associations like the SPE so that jointly solutions can be created, open challenges, add value to the industry as well as to the country.
Delighted at the oil giant’s performance at the conference, especially the feat of producing 44 technical papers, representing over 30 per cent of total papers presented at the SPE conference authored by Shell staff, he said that through the high level participation the IOC had in no small measure contributed to the success of the 2017 SPE NAICE. The Company Chair stated that  the IOC at the industry level would continue to work with other players in the industry. It company would engage its partners, regulators and other stakeholders to improve the efficiency and professionality of the industry and promote an investment friendly climate. Okunbor posited that a consensus has been built around what the issues of the industry and the next step to take.
Speaking also, the new SPE Council Chair, Engineer Chike Nwosu, appreciated the dignitaries who graced the occasion including the outgoing Chairman, Dr. Saka Matemilola. Nwosu who accepted to serve as the next SPE Chair assured the BoT that he understood the enormity of the task that was before him and promised to take the petroleum association to the next level.
The new SPE Chair extolled Matemilola whom he understudied for one year. Commending the members of the council who he referred to as talented people with whom the SPE will be shaped for another one year. He asserted, “there is no fear in my heart that we will continue to deliver as SPE Nigeria Council has done in years past”. And  that SPE under his watch will partner with government particularly the NCDMB, DPR and sister organisations like NAPE, Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) and Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) so as to diversify the oil sector and explore other energy mix.
“There will be R&D to encourage proper research and development in academia, the ability to transform that initiative to academia to pilot test projects and make them commercially viable. NCDMB will play a greater role to actualise this objective. This structure will deliver innovation for the oil and gas industry, Nwosu said.
Dignitaries who graced the award dinner include: the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engineer Simbi Nwabote, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was represented by Group General Manager, R&D, Dr. Bola Afolabi, Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, representative of the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) among others.

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