Nigeria’s participation in the 45-year old global event that showcases the latest technology used in harnessing hydrocarbon resources both in shallow water, deep and ultra-deep waters has been very rewarding as Nigerians are fast mastering and domesticating the techniques used in oil and gas exploration.
Since Nigeria became an active participants in the global event several years ago, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria of Nigeria (PETAN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),Nigerian wholly owned exploration and production firms and few multinationals have sponsored and participated in the event.
However in the past five years, Oilserv Nigeria Limited, one of Nigeria’s enterprising Engineering Procurement and Construction firm (EPC) has sustained the tempo, flying the nation’s flag over the years at Reliance Park in Houston.
For instance, Oilserv has sustained the sponsorship of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) panel session organized by PETAN between 2010 and 2014, fetching it five consecutive recognition awards by organisers of the event.
A Special Panel Session is held every year during the OTC by PETAN to highlight opportunities and increased importance of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria to the global oil industry.
The panel session at the 2014 OTC with the theme: ‘Asset Divestment in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry & Opportunities and Challenges,’ attracted a lot of dignitaries, including Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, who represented the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke; Managing Director, First Hydrocarbon Limited, Femi Bajomo; Chairman, Afren Plc, Egbert Imomoh; Chairman, PETAN, and Managing Director Oildata/Xenergy, Emeka Ene; Chief Executive Officer, Lekoil, Mr Olalekan Akinyanmi; Head Origination and Client Coverage, FBN Capital, Sanmi Famuyide; among others.
Executive Chairman of Oilserv Limited, Emeka Okwuosa who spoke to Daily Independent after the panel discussion on several issues in the oil sector, described the divestment by the multinational oil firms as a good opportunity for domestic players in the industry
According to him, “when you looked at the potentials of the oil blocks the bottom-line is that it presents good opportunities for Nigerians to come in and invest and be able to take ownership. When I talk about Nigerians we are not talking of government ownership we are talking about private ownership which is in line with international best practice.”
Speaking further, he noted that some of the oil blocks in questions have not being producing at optimum capacity, due to community related issues which could not be resolved by the initial owners.
He described the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has witnessed so much delays as a very good concept, but warned that its non-passage by the National Assembly and the Presidency may lead to the collapse of the oil and gas industry as the oil sector will not survive with obsolete laws that requires replacement.
“In fact if Nigeria does not move quickly and overcome the fatigue in the process of passing this PIB Bill, the oil and gas industry will die and I use the word “die” because it is already slowing down as investment is not going on the way it is supposed to go. PIB is very necessary. What is important is that PIB is actually an overhaul of the entire framework of the regime of running the petroleum industry in Nigeria. It is a very crucial bill and it is all encompassing, it will cover all stakeholders’ interests,” he added.
He maintained that Nigerian government has no business running refineries, insisting that such should be run as a business and not on government patronage.
“It was good at the initial stage for government to kick-start such investments and be able to build capacity, but more than 10 years ago, government should have divested. Nigerian government, or any government for that matter, has no capacity to run refineries. And you can see the result we are getting. You don’t run refineries in a way where you bring your brother to be Managing Director or you employ 100 people when you need 10 people to do the work. It’s not going to work. Refineries today should not be under the ownership or management of Nigerian government or any government,” he noted.
He lamented that fuel importation creates jobs outside, nothing that “when you refine crude oil here in a way that you are self-sufficient, it gives you another level of security of existence as a country. It creates a lot of jobs because the more you create services in the country, the more you employ people, the more you also give opportunities for businesses to spin-off out of it and have trickle down economies. But when you take your crude oil and sell raw and you end up going to buy refined products what you done is providing jobs for people in some other places. That is one.
“Then, you are buying refined products that you have little or no control over its quality. Some of you that are old enough would remember years ago when you go to filling stations to buy fuel there used to be more than one class of petrol. That does not exist anymore. You don’t know what you are buying. When refined products were made in Nigerian we have premium fuel and we had other classes so you choose the one you want depending on the kind of car you are driving. Today you see people driving high-end cars and they still go and buy fuel that is not even fit for the basic cars. And that is the problem,” he stressed.
Source: Daily Independent