The federal government has reiterated its determination to continue to invest in hydrocarbons despite the global clamour for renewable energy.
Minister of State Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva, said this at the ongoing Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council-44th Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) 2021, Tuesday in Lagos. Nigeria currently has a huge gas reserve of about 600 trillion scf of gas deposit.
In a virtual address to participants at the event, the minister insisted that Nigeria will leverage on its huge gas reserve as a transition fuel option in the country.
According to the former Bayelsa State governor, oil and gas will continue to be relevant and play a major part in Nigeria’s energy mix in the foreseeable future.
He said: “Our approach towards the climate-change-net-zero-emission debate is to optimize the use of our abundant gas resource domestically as a transition fuel option towards meeting our Nationally Determined Contributions on climate change”.
“As a government, we are determined to encourage more penetration of natural gas and its derivatives for domestic utilization, power generation, gas-based industries and propulsion in all aspects of the national economy. This would in a fundamental manner address the great challenge posed by volatile oil market, the environmental issues and public health concerns.”
While acknowledging the impact transition to low carbon energy sources would play in making the world a better living place with a cleaner climate, Sylva said the process of change has to happen by way of a simultaneous global effort of transitioning national economies to the use of low carbon energy solutions.
He insisted that it was “an assumption that all national economies are driven by the same parameters and does not take into account the different socio-economic, political and developmental peculiarities of individual nations.”
The minister said that despite the assurances of the country to continue to invest in the hydrocarbon sector, “the government of Nigeria in collaboration with global partners is exploring policies, technologies and investments to address the current global challenge that will support migration from our reliance on carbon dependent fuels to meeting our commitment to the Paris Agreement”.
On the future of global oil market, Sylva said “it is becoming obvious that a global migration from a fossil fuel-based economy to renewable would engender a corresponding decline in hydrocarbon including possible divestiture in the sector as deliberate frameworks are being championed to discourage extraction of carbon-laden resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic has further exacerbated the investment decline”.
He therefore tasked petroleum engineers in the country to be at the “forefront of our quest to achieve the desired balance of clean environment, safe public health and a renewed global oil market”.
“This SPE Annual International Conference and Exhibition will be an appropriate platform to bring to the front-burner the critical discussions that would forge a robust and implementable clean energy solutions pathway for Nigeria,” he said.