Nigeria has blamed international oil companies (IOCs) quitting the country and lack of new investments for the country’s inability to meet the oil production quota allocated to it by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
ExxonMobil and Shell are notable among IOCs who have concluded plans to quit Nigeria, for reasons bothering on insecurity and lack of conducive business investment climate.
OPEC’s quota for Nigeria hovers around 1.8mbpd in the last few years, but the country’s performance has dangled between 1.3 and 1.4 million barrels per day.
Nigeria’s minister of state petroleum, who is leader of the Nigerian delegation to the ongoing CERA Week in Houston, Texas, Chief Timipre Sylva, decried the happenstance of IOCs divesting from Nigeria is worrisome, adding that Nigeria is recording minuses that has made it difficult for the county to meet its OPEC target.
“Lack of investments in the oil and gas sector contributed to Nigeria’s inability to meet OPEC quota. We are not able to get the needed investments to develop the sector and that affected us,” the minister stated.
Sylva also said that the drive towards renewable energy by climate enthusiasts had discouraged funding for the industry, adding that in several years to come oil and gas would continue to be sustainable in meeting the energy needs of the world.
Sylva said despite Nigeria’s supports energy transition the country and the African continent should be allowed to develop at its own pace.
This, he said, would enable African countries meet the energy needs of the over 600 million people who had no access to any form of power in Africa.
Sylvia said about 600 million people in Africa are without access to power and electricity, whereas majority of the people in question live Nigeria.
“And of the over 900 million people without access to power in the world, the majority live in Africa. So how do we provide access to power for these people if you say we should not produce gas?
“We believe that gas is the way to go. We believe that gas is the way forward and the one access to power. We need to have an inclusive energy transition programme.
“Yes, we believe in energy transition but we as Africans have our own peculiar problems and we are saying that our energy transition should be focused on gas to bridge the energy gap. This is what we have been saying,” the minister said.