By Lucas Ajanaku
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would ensure that the nation’s abundant natural gas resources are used to promote national development.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Energy Industry Transformation Summit (NEITS), he added that, in collaboration with stakeholders, the Ministry would promote domestic utilisation of gas resources to create jobs for the teeming youth.
Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) urged stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to come up with innovative ways to reposition the sector for sustainability as the COVID-19 ravages the world..
Its Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, said industry players needed to set their eyes on a strategy that focuses on people, partnerships, profit and posterity.
Kyari explained that the new normal era brought about by the virus has more than ever, reinforced the need to upskill the human capacity within the industry for the next phase, and develop the capacity to attract, train and retain people in the sector.
He spoke on the theme: “Changing Global energy landscape: Repositioning for industry sustainability” at the occasion.
“There must be collaboration across different dimensions; government, industry, academia and, particularly, with the communities where we carry out our operations. The social license to operate is critical to the Industry’s long-term survival. Also, partnership among industry peers to chart new ways of resolving Industry challenges and preparing for tomorrow cannot be over emphasised. I am delighted the SPE provides such veritable platform,” the GMD said.
He said for sustainability, industry players must learn to manage cost, improve efficiency and deliver required cashflow (margins) for reinvestment and expansion, stressing that without creating profit, “we wouldn’t be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that keeps us viable and ready for tomorrow”.
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Another key to repositioning the industry for sustainability, according to the GMD, is for players to always act and take decisions with posterity in mind.“We must bequeath to the next generation a world worthy to live in. Our operations must therefore be carried out in a safe manner without adversely impacting the environment. As you know, most discussions around energy substitution or green economy stem from looking at the Industry as ‘dirty’ and ‘unconscionable’. It must be reiterated that our Industry remains the bedrock of modern human existence. We must therefore work to create a positive view if we are to remain relevant in the long run,” he said.
Delivering the keynote address, the President, SPE International, Shauna Noonan, clarified that the concept of energy transition was not to wipe out fossil fuel but rather an aspiration for cleaner energy.
She said the SPE, Nigeria Council, has a great role to play in reducing energy poverty, noting that energy transition was important for greater value in the global oil and gas industry.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Chairman, SPE Nigeria Council, Mr. Joseph Nwakwue, said the society was ready to offer professional services and work with all stakeholders to move the industry forward.
He said part of the society was focused on capacity building to develop the required skill set for the oil and industry operations, stressing that it was what informed the choice of the theme of the conference.