The management of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd has taken the position that despite the presence of oil and gas majors in the Nigerian turf, the country remains very risky for business.

The company points at what it described as uncompetitive fiscal terms, increasing cost, unsettled deep water disputes, and upcoming deep-water lease expiry, as some of the issues that contribute to increase the risk for investors and prevent new investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Speaking yesterday at a management session of the virtual conference of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Exploration (NAPE) managing director of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, Mike Sangster, said the $3billion invested in Nigerian projects which took Final Investment Decision (FID) between 2015 and 2019 represents 5% of all oil and gas funds invested in Africa.

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“No major investment decision was taken in Deepwater Nigeria between 2015 and 2019, despite a number of available potentially viable projects.

He said Total supports Nigeria’s efforts being made to define a long-term framework for the oil and gas industry that provides clarity and certainty as well as attractive terms which translate to a win-win solution for the country and investors.

He explained that the development will further attract more capital investment and catalyse needed for a new wave of hydrocarbon exploration and development investment in Nigeria. He added that Total is part of the solution to climate change with a commitment to delivering reliable, affordable and clean energy to the population.

“We have made important investments locally. Some of these include: Over 1.5 million people in Nigeria have been impacted from sale of 400,000 Total solar lamps since 2013, according to Global Lighting Off-grid Association estimates. Worldwide, 10 million people have been impacted.

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“Out of our 577 service stations across the country, more than 77 have been solarised as at the end of January 2020. It’s an ongoing program and our target is to ensure that our stations become fully solarised.

“We have also deployed over 150 residential solar solutions across the country. Our investment in the NLNG from the beginning till now, is partly derived from our commitment to the production of cleaner and better energy”, he said.

Mike Sangster stressed that Total is working towards getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by promoting the use of natural gas, biogas and hydrogen, investing in low cost oil and biofuels and low carbon electricity, mainly from renewable.

He said Total believes in Nigeria however, which made them to make the development of the 200,000 bpd EGINA field with 1st oil in 2018 at a time the investment that led to the vestment climate was not the most appealing.

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“The Ikike development project is currently in progress with the drilling of development wells commencing in 2021,” he said, adding that the country is crucial to the Total Group, accounting for around 10% of its equity production.

‘’Total has invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in the country from 2013 to date. We have also taken steps to drive down our green-house gas emissions; pursuing a zero-flare principle on all our new projects as is evident with EGINA, OML58 upgrade, OFON field and others.

“Our faith in the country has also seen us maintain an annual CSR spend of over $40 million (USD). We maintain at least 19 MoUs with our host communities,” he said.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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