Oil technology still poor in Nigeria

Mar 20, 2007 01:00 AM

The Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani has regretted that even with the creation of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in 1973, use of update technology as the key to the transformation of Nigeria's oil and gas industry is lacking, hence leading scarcity and conflicts invariably.
Nnamani who took a swipe at the hydrocarbon sector of the Nigerian economy reasoned that conflicts which have so far emerged as a result of the oil and gas exploration and production could only come from scarcity.

The Senate President who made these observation at the Abuja Petroleum Roundtable in Abuja, said that the PTDF, which has the mandate of helping to impact Nigerians with the technological know how in the oil and gas sector, has failed woefully.
"We can increase our productivity through the enhanced use of technological innovation in the oil and gas sector. We can learn from Malaysia in increased usage of modern technology, just as the Malaysians came here and learnt to use our palm trees' produce", he said. He then challenged oil and gas operators to channel greater investment in the use of technology to address the twin crisis of low productivity and inefficiency the oil industry.

According to the Senate President, oil spills from pipeline vandalism had cost Nigeria the loss of about 300,000 barrels of crude per day and average loss of 5 mm barrels per incident.
"Nigeria lost approximately $ 6.8 bn between 1999 to 2004 and spent another $ 5.8 bn to replace vandalised oil infrastructure. In the past we have tried to stop oil pipeline vandalism through policies and effective enlightenment. We should focus attention on developing new and effective technology that will ensure minimal loss of oil in the event of terrorist attack on our oil installations. With better technology, we can minimise the incidence of pipeline explosions and crude disaster.”

He added, "We can turn oil and gas into a harbinger of economic development and social transformation. Oil needs not be a curse to Nigeria. It should be a blessing to our country.”
"We can make use of petroleum resources to enhance Nigeria's resources. Oil revenue if properly managed and invested can help build Nigerian human capital and launch Nigerian into a club of moderate economic powers in the shortest period of time."

Speaking at the occasion, Energy Minister, Dr Edmund Daukoru said in the last decade, there has been a steady global shift from oil to natural gas which has made natural gas to account for about 24 % of world-wide energy consumption.
Daukoru said that the strategic shift has also been reflected in the activities of the oil industry in the country with gas projects (Escravos NGL, NLNG, OSO NGL) executed by various Joint Venture firms and NNPC while other gas projects are in the incipient stages, notably Brass and Olokola LNG. He lamented that the social economic development in the Niger Delta which has not kept pace with the development of the oil industry, noting that this disconnect has generated a lot ofresentment and fuelled community crisis and youth restiveness in the area.

In his lead presentation at the occasion, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Abuja Petroleum Roundtable and Executive Chairman Emerald Energy Resources gave kudos to the country's oil reserve aspiration of 40 bn barrels and producibility of 4 mm bpd by 2010 stating that they were realizable.
"Given these discoveries and the current rate of exploration, the country's oil reserves aspiration of 40 bn barrels and production of 4 mm bpd by 2010 is most likely realizable", he said.

Dr Egbogah reasoned that "while the government has obviously invested more in oil than gas, and thus has generated greater revenue from oil than gas, it must be observed that the linkage of gas sector to the power, industrial and agricultural sectors present most important opportunity for rapidly accelerating the nation's industrial development and economic recovery".
He said that what is "urgently needed for the realization of these developments is legal framework and national gas policy akin to that of oil which will serve to bring order, sanity and irreversible profitability to the sector and national economy".

In connection with this, he said that there is now a bill in the National Assembly that seeks to institute separate legal and regulatory framework for the downstream gas sector for the purpose of achieving a more effective regulation.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC Engineer Funsho Kupolokun in his presentation said that between 2005 and 2006, the oil sector added about 790 mm barrels additional production capacity to the global supplies mainly from deepwater projects as Bonga added 225 mm bpd, Erha 210, Yoho 165 and others 190 respectively.

Source: Vanguard </ font>
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