The Group Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern Exploration & Production Company Limited, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo, has said that there is still a window of opportunity for the Nigeria to realise its hydrocarbon objectives of 3MMbbl/d production and 40Billion bbls of Reserves by 2025.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) on Monday in Abuja, Okoronkwo said his organisation is poised and working assiduously towards significant contribution to this goal. He commended the ministry of petroleum resources for this laudable initiative of NIPS as a platform for the world to meet Nigeria oil and gas players.
“I recall at the maiden edition of the NIPS in 2018, Mr. President in his welcome address said ‘I am pleased that this summit is targeted at an inclusive audience. Nigeria’s worthy presence in the petroleum sphere demands that this summit occurs regularly and should extend beyond our hydrocarbons.’ Felicitations are therefore due to the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva on his first official NIPS outing and for keeping faith with Mr. President’s charge,” he said.
Okoronkwo expressed hope that the Hon. Minister will bring his leadership streak from the successful Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) summit held in Yenagoa, last November to bear on the NIPS circuit.
“Aiteo Group has diverse interests which cut across the energy value chain today; with upstream, midstream and downstream assets. Aiteo started up as an SPV to participate in IOC asset divestment exercise of 2014.
“Aiteo Eastern E&P emerged the winner of the competitive bid for 45% private stake held by Shell (30%), TOTAL (10%) and AGIP (5%) in OML 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) under the NNPC-SPDC Joint Venture,” he stated.
He explained further that by virtue of this successful acquisition, Aiteo E&P is the operator of the NNP-Aiteo Joint Venture. OML 29, located in the swamp of the Niger Delta has 6 flow stations and 4 associated gas gathering compressors stations. The Nembe Creek Trunk Line is a strategic national oil delivery infrastructure transporting crude from 6 producers to the Bonny Crude Oil Terminal.
“We cannot overemphasize the pivotal role oil and gas play in the Nigerian economy contributing an estimated 56.8% of National revenue (ref. CBN Quarterly Economic Report Average: Q4 2017-Q3 2019) and about 88% of foreign exchange earnings (ref. KPMG Industry Insight report April, 2019),” the AITEO boss said
He observed that Nigeria is not isolated from the current wave of global energy transition, stressing that the energy transition has largely been driven by three key factors namely environmental, technological advancements and national policy realignments. “Climate change is a serious issue that has gained ascendance in shaping global policy discussions with respect to actualizing less carbon intensive scenarios.
“However, given the diverse applications of hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon derivatives in support of human civilization and industrialization, fossils will continue to play a dominant role in the global energy mix in the foreseeable future.
“Overall, with the continued reliance and high demand for oil and gas, prices for these commodities will remain exposed to geopolitical events, climate considerations, and in this age of disruptions, black swan events like the September 2019 bombing of the Saudi oil facilities and the current coronavirus outbreak still poses challenges to the industry,” he said.
Okoronkwo stressed that the imperatives for success will therefore be predicated on amongst other factors, creating a stable operating environment as well as establishing robust regulatory and fiscal frameworks.
He also said that key energy industry reforms will be critical in boosting investor confidence and attracting otherwise elusive investments into Nigeria. In 2018 while the Foreign Direct Investment to Africa rose 11% to $46 billion, the FDI to Nigeria shrunk 43% to $2 billion whilst Ghana received $3 billion (ref. world investment report 2019).
This is in contrast to the vast hydrocarbon resource base Nigeria is blessed with (largest oil and gas reserves in Africa), he said. “As we deliberate across various sessions during this Summit, it is my firm belief that we will ponder on these burning issues with a view to articulating holistic solutions, the bedrock upon which the survival of our great country is hinged upon,” the AITEO boss said.