Concerns heighten over Nigeria’s oil industry in 2014



As Nigerians entered the year 2014, the growing concern over the state of the oil and gas industry have continued to engage the attention of experts and stakeholders. This is because oil accounts for about 90 percent of the nation’s revenue and has been made to be the mainstay of the economy by successive governments. Will the oil industry fare better in 2014? ALEX EMEJE asks

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Crusteam Group, an energy and infrastructure company, Mr. Barry Esimone, believes that the oil and gas industry in 2013 continued in the trend of decline on effective activities both in upstream and downstream segments. Exploration activities certainly fell below expected industry standard as no new find was made and very few drilling activities took place.

“On the refining sector, the NNPC refineries did not fare any better as internal refining capacity was still very low, product import continued unabated as the major source of refined products. “A few incidences in the refineries continue to show the level of poor maintenance of the facilities. The only exciting news is the planned Dangote refinery project. However, I think a different model of developing internal refining capacity with potential for massive employment generation should be encouraged,” he said.
Esimone also said that more exploration programmes should be encouraged especially with the planned marginal field bid round coming up this year, while exploration plans of the majors should be looked into with a view to removing any bottlenecks as this has been the major source if Nigeria’s reserve inventory builds up. While we encouraged the locals to participate, we should not kill the geese that laid the golden eggs.

On the refusal of the International Oil Companies(IOCs) to invest in the last few years, Esimone said that though it is a worrisome trend, the government needs to find out how to break the jinx and make the conditions more flexible until indigenous companies get a good foothold and build financial and technical capacity. “Whether we woo that Asians or not, the bottom line is that, the West still controls the technology and may even have hands in the ownership of most of the Asian companies.
As regards the state of the refineries, he said they should be sold outright. “I am an advocate of complete sell off of the refineries. If any business fails to provide the reason for its establishment, after several attempts at reinvigoration, it then means that the problem must be structural.

“In this case the structure is hinged on meddlesomeness, lack of commitment, sabotage,among others. We can save the funds being pumped into them without result if we transfer ownership even at a give-away.
“However, I believe that the maximum the government should do is to conduct technical status audit of all the refineries before selling. The issue with local refinery development is still policy based. The necessary legal framework has to be worked out properly, especially with regards to feedstock agreement,” he said.
Esimone’s concern was shared by Taher Najah, an oil industry analyst with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), who said that Nigeria’s energy usage is expected to rise by 40 percent between 2010 and 2030. He noted that this level of production was required to lift billions of people out of poverty.

Najah explained that with population and incomes projected to rise, the real challenge remained how to manage and meet the energy needs. “The question that begs for an answer is what type of energy will the world use and how much, where it will come from and how new technologies, efficient and policies impact on the market. “With energy use expected to rise by 40 percent between 2010 and 2030, this is required to lift billions of people out of poverty, the expectation will be huge gains that producing nations make in terms of market share,” he said.

Najah, however, stressed that global peak oil production would be expected before 2030 and there existed significant risks that would occur before 2020.
He continued that extraction was currently expanding too slowly to mitigate post early peak oil decline in conventional sources, adding that this could be changed by new technologies.
The analyst pointed out that oil and gas would continue to lead as the largest energy source and the whole world would continue to find itself in a landscape dominated by the intricacies of the oil and gas business.

The OPEC officials said that for most developed economies, efficiencies and new technologies remained key solution to mitigating risks
“Weather Nigeria looks east or west; several puzzles will first have to be resolved internally, before tapping into the opportunities created globally or mitigating the risk the global dynamics presents.
“These sprawling opportunities created by the industry around the world remains an unrivalled stimulus to economics actively engaged in oil and gas, ”he said.

For Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Petroleum, Joseph Ezigbo, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), is the only New Year gift that could be appreciated in the industry, because it plays a critical role in national economy.
“If they want to give Nigerians any New Year gift, they should pass the PIB. Once they give us the PIB, then we will have a level playing field to grow our economy, because the economy depends on oil and gas resources. So, they should pass the PIB and nothing more”. he said.

He noted that though there are arguments everywhere against and for the PIB, what should be done first of all is to enact the PIB as it is and then see how it is functioning.
According to him, “We can then see what areas need a change, we can now sit down as a group and decide to amend, modify, change or restructure the PIB but as it is at the moment, the amount of money that this country is losing on a daily basis, the pollution going on in the Niger-Delta, the number of people disenfranchised from getting their dues, the volume of corruption in the system, these are things that if we put the PIB in place, it will reduce to the barest minimum. Without the PIB, there is no way we can get back to the basis. The PIB is central. It is the bedrock, the foundation on which we can build this station.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Crusteam Group, an energy and infrastructure company, Mr. Barry Esimone, believes that the oil and gas industry in 2013 continued in the trend of decline on effective activities both in upstream and downstream segments. Exploration activities certainly fell below expected industry standard as no new find was made and very few drilling activities took place.
“On the refining sector, the NNPC refineries did not fare any better as internal refining capacity was still very low, product import continued unabated as the major source of refined products. “A few incidences in the refineries continue to show the level of poor maintenance of the facilities. The only exciting news is the planned Dangote refinery project. However, I think a different model of developing internal refining capacity with potential for massive employment generation should be encouraged,” he said.
Esimone also said that more exploration programmes should be encouraged especially with the planned marginal field bid round coming up this year, while exploration plans of the majors should be looked into with a view to removing any bottlenecks as this has been the major source if Nigeria’s reserve inventory builds up. While we encouraged the locals to participate, we should not kill the geese that laid the golden eggs.
On the refusal of the International Oil Companies(IOCs) to invest in the last few years, Esimone said that though it is a worrisome trend, the government needs to find out how to break the jinx and make the conditions more flexible until indigenous companies get a good foothold and build financial and technical capacity. “Whether we woo that Asians or not, the bottom line is that, the West still controls the technology and may even have hands in the ownership of most of the Asian companies.
As regards the state of the refineries, he said they should be sold outright. “I am an advocate of complete sell off of the refineries. If any business fails to provide the reason for its establishment, after several attempts at reinvigoration, it then means that the problem must be structural.
“In this case the structure is hinged on meddlesomeness, lack of commitment, sabotage,among others. We can save the funds being pumped into them without result if we transfer ownership even at a give-away.
“However, I believe that the maximum the government should do is to conduct technical status audit of all the refineries before selling. The issue with local refinery development is still policy based. The necessary legal framework has to be worked out properly, especially with regards to feedstock agreement,” he said.
Esimone’s concern was shared by Taher Najah, an oil industry analyst with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), who said that Nigeria’s energy usage is expected to rise by 40 percent between 2010 and 2030. He noted that this level of production was required to lift billions of people out of poverty.
Najah explained that with population and incomes projected to rise, the real challenge remained how to manage and meet the energy needs. “The question that begs for an answer is what type of energy will the world use and how much, where it will come from and how new technologies, efficient and policies impact on the market. “With energy use expected to rise by 40 percent between 2010 and 2030, this is required to lift billions of people out of poverty, the expectation will be huge gains that producing nations make in terms of market share,” he said.
Najah, however, stressed that global peak oil production would be expected before 2030 and there existed significant risks that would occur before 2020.
He continued that extraction was currently expanding too slowly to mitigate post early peak oil decline in conventional sources, adding that this could be changed by new technologies.
The analyst pointed out that oil and gas would continue to lead as the largest energy source and the whole world would continue to find itself in a landscape dominated by the intricacies of the oil and gas business.
The OPEC officials said that for most developed economies, efficiencies and new technologies remained key solution to mitigating risks
“Weather Nigeria looks east or west; several puzzles will first have to be resolved internally, before tapping into the opportunities created globally or mitigating the risk the global dynamics presents.
“These sprawling opportunities created by the industry around the world remains an unrivalled stimulus to economics actively engaged in oil and gas, ”he said.
For Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Petroleum, Joseph Ezigbo, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), is the only New Year gift that could be appreciated in the industry, because it plays a critical role in national economy.
“If they want to give Nigerians any New Year gift, they should pass the PIB. Once they give us the PIB, then we will have a level playing field to grow our economy, because the economy depends on oil and gas resources. So, they should pass the PIB and nothing more”. he said.
He noted that though there are arguments everywhere against and for the PIB, what should be done first of all is to enact the PIB as it is and then see how it is functioning.
According to him, “We can then see what areas need a change, we can now sit down as a group and decide to amend, modify, change or restructure the PIB but as it is at the moment, the amount of money that this country is losing on a daily basis, the pollution going on in the Niger-Delta, the number of people disenfranchised from getting their dues, the volume of corruption in the system, these are things that if we put the PIB in place, it will reduce to the barest minimum. Without the PIB, there is no way we can get back to the basis. The PIB is central. It is the bedrock, the foundation on which we can build this station.

No tags for this post.

Sign Up Now

ePaper Subscription