The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has revealed that more than 41 billion barrels of crude oil and 319 trillion cubic feet of gas are yet to be discovered in sub-Saharan Africa.
Baru said that from available information, the African and global crude oil and gas outlook remains positive and on the upward trajectory. He stressed that the West African sub-region holds the ace in terms of offshore deepwater exploration hotspots.
He spoke at a special session on Africa, titled: “Foundations for New Investment” at the ongoing 19th CERAWeek Conference in Houston, the United States on Wednesday.
The NNPC boss explained that a prolific 1.0 billion barrel of crude oil find was recently made at the Owowo field, offshore Nigeria and called on foreign investors to explore the Nigerian ultra-deep terrain, which he described as largely untested.
Baru told his audience that the NNPC is currently drilling Kolmani River-II Well in the Benue Trough – one of Nigeria’s several frontier inland basins with about 400 bcf of gas expected to be encountered.
The occasion also provided an opportunity for Baru to make a case for the domestication of oil and gas technologies within the African continent.
He said: “It is my belief that domesticating these cutting-edge technologies will develop the capacity of our people, improve our economies and emplace our national oil and gas companies on the path of sustainable growth and development.”
According to him, African countries must react positively to the new reality by deploying new policies and stabilise their business environment to attract meaningful investments.
Baru said that critical to achieving that for Nigeria was the passage of the four components of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which is expected to usher in a new legislation that will not only enhance the investment climate in the country, but also change the fortunes of the nation’s oil and gas business for the better.
He told the delegates at the conference that the NNPC was opening up its business environment to ensure transparency and accountability in its dealing with all stakeholders.
He also lauded the federal government for its peace initiatives in the Niger Delta communities which, he noted, had seen the country hitting very high oil and gas production figures in recent years.
Ministers and top energy executives from Mali, Somalia, Namibia, and Uganda were among panelists at the special session.
Organised by IHS Markit, CERAWeek is a global platform on energy trends and public policy where over 4,000 oil and gas experts convene annually to debate the future of oil, natural gas, renewable energy, power, and new technologies.
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