Nigeria’s quest to grow her crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2025, according to the Executive Director, Commercial and Strategy, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, George Oguachuba, will remain a mirage without adequate exploration activities.
He stated this at a one-day virtual workshop for oil and gas media professionals organised by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).
He urged the Federal Government to put appropriate incentives in place in the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), to encourage exploration activities.
“The desire of the government to grow its reserves base to 40 billion will just be a mirage. The way to get it done is putting in place the right fiscal terms, right incentives for exploration, so eventually if operators do make any discovery, we have the potential for recovering our investment bearing in mind that for the deep water your financial disclosure could be around $15 billion.
“This is one bill the government is putting close to their chest. A copy is yet to be released to the industry for comments, but I do hope that the government put appropriate incentives in place to encourage exploration activities, because without exploration activities, we don’t have any more reserves and the reserve growth is actually negative,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President, NAPE, Alex Tarka, said every responsible oil-producing nation must invest in exploration especially when crude oil contributes a lot to the economy.
“Exploration is capital intensive as lots of investors shy away from it, but the benefits are much,” he said. He added that Nigeria is ranked sixth in the world in terms of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production and export, but only has a fraction of its gas capacity being produced; approximately less than 20 per cent despite its vast gas potential.
According to him, there has been consistent growth in domestic gas space since the government put in place the Domestic Gas Obligations on various operators in the industry.
Tarka said the oil and gas industry is highly technical in its processes and operations, saying it is important that the reportage in the oil and gas space by media professionals is delivered accurately, stressing that many journalists struggle to adequately interpret oil and gas information.
He added that the workshop is NAPE’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to enhance competence in oil and gas reporting, by providing free master class training for journalists.
“NAPE will continue to partner with the press and other stakeholders in providing a platform for learning, and enhancing economic development,” he added.