The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that Nigeria with its huge petroleum resources has no reason to continue to import petroleum products.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 43rd Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (SPENAICE) in Lagos on Monday, Kyari described the trend as a shame to the country, stating also that it is unacceptable for a country with over 187tcf of gas resources to be faced with the dilemma of lack of gas for its power plants.
Stating that it was high time Nigerians and stakeholders in the country’s oil and gas industry quit lamenting over the various challenges confronting the industry, the NNPC GMD challenged stakeholders and industry players to join forces with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) in remedying the situation.
Kyari said, “We keep talking about the gas to power initiative. Today, we are unable to deliver gas to our domestic market as an industry for many reasons. We are not just willing to invest, we are not sure of the future of the investment which crystallizes on the issue of pricing, among others.
“Because our refineries are not operating optimally, we have become a net importer of petroleum products. Today, it is a shame that this country is a net importer of petroleum products and we are going to change that. The way to do it is that NNPC will get its act together.
“For many years now, we have been talking about increasing our oil reserve to 40 billion barrels and our oil production to 3 million barrels per day and this we are determined to work together so that we can deliver value to our country,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mobile Technology: Changing the Future of the Energy industry”, the NNPC GMD said it is a timely topic, noting that the emergence of artificial intelligence has continued to change the dynamics of operations in the oil and gas business. Adding that effective deployment of big data enables for quicker processes and interventions in the conduct of business in the industry.
According to Kyari, the country needs to attract more investments across the energy value chain to pave way for more effective deployment of improved technology in the exploration and production of hydrocarbon from inland as well as the ultra-deep offshore basins.
To achieve this ambition, the NNPC GMD said that NNPC, industry players and stakeholders must work together to bring appropriate petroleum legislation on the table.
“One of the things to do is to make sure that the business environment is clearly understood by all. Today, we have issues around the physical regime, about contractual challenges, about disputes that need not be there in the first instance.
“As you all know, since 1999 till date, efforts to get the petroleum industry bill passed hasn’t worked. I think it is a big challenge but this time around, we need to get it done.
“We can’t do without having the right processes, the right systems and then the right places for investment, the right technology,” Kyari said.