The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva on Tuesday said the country’s oil and gas industry is being position to become an investment destination as the new petroleum industry bill (PIB) will take care of all issues related to making the sector attractive to investors.
Speaking at the ongoing Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Energy Industry Transformation Summit (NEITS) 2020 which holding on virtually, Chief Sylva added that the COVID-19 Pandemic has made indigenous participation in the Oil and Gas value chain an imperative.
Addressing participants on the theme of the summit, “Changing Global Energy Landscape: Strategies for Industry Sustainability,” the minister said the topic is quite pertinent to contemporary issues affecting the industry.
The minister pointed out that the global energy business environment is beset with uncertainties in 2020 and the end of the precarious situation does not seem to be in sight at the moment.
According to him, the global COVID-19 Pandemic has made indigenous participation in the Oil and Gas value chain an imperative. Stressing that the Pandemic, must be seen as a source of encouragement for local industry participation in the sector.
He said the federal government is set to use the proposed PIB as an element of national strategy to create a conducive environment to attract both local and foreign investors.
“The proposed PIB takes care of the foregoing to put Nigeria amongst the league of investment havens.
“It is therefore our believe that the future is bright and attractive for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the PIB will further encourage participation of Nigerians in the various oil and gas activities.
The minister explained that, “Our current transition from oil dependence to cleaner energy in gas offers a sustainable pathway to industry and national development.
“The Petroleum Industry Bill will provide a framework for sustained and increased petroleum industry activities in terms of developing gas for domestic market and increasing oil production under competitive terms to support the goal of a stronger non-oil economy for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
In his remark, the managing director, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mike Sangster, said the theme of the summit is very apt, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the oil and gas industry and the society at large.
He identified some of the challenges as forced lockdowns, tumbling oil and gas prices and generally crippling essential services. Pointing out that firms have gone beyond lay-offs to declaring bankruptcy and shutting down. It forces a reexamination of our strategies for sustainability.
According to him, “Even before this period of heightened concerns about the post COVID-19 era, firms and countries eager to reduce their carbon footprints had been out with strategies and an evolving energy mix in the shift towards cleaner energy.”
Relating the situation to his company he said, “The challenge for companies like Total is to strike the right balance between enabling the energy transition by investing in new energies such as solar and wind power and continuing to provide oil and gas to meet the needs of our customers and society.
“Total wants to be part of the solution to climate change with a commitment to delivering affordable and clean energy to the population. We have made important investments locally in this area and implemented several initiatives that are already impacting the Nigerian energy landscape positively.”
Earlier the Chairman, SPE Nigeria Council, Mr Joseph Nwakwue, in his welcome remark expressed hope that the summit will proffer the necessary initiatives that will sustain industry and make it relevance in the new dispensation.