The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), a leading organisation that represents oilfield services and technology companies operating across upstream through to downstream projects, in response to recent incidents of oil spills and FPSO explosions on critical infrastructures in Nigeria, has proffered strategies to safeguard critical infrastructures and boost the Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector.
Nicolas Odinuwe, chairman, PETAN, in an interview with specialist oil industry publication, The Energy Republic, stated that the Nigerian oil and gas industry has witnessed several attacks and incidents on critical infrastructures which are hindering the country’s industrial growth.
According to him, these issues have become a major challenge in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and not much attention has been given to address them effectively.
Odinuwe asserted that adopting digital technologies will address the arising problems of cyberattacks on critical infrastructures, oil spills, oil theft, and FPSO explosions.
He added that due to the volatility of oil and gas operations, closing the digital gap would help safeguard the country’s key economic infrastructures from diverse attacks and incidents.
Commenting on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the PETAN chairman noted that some sections of the PIA address the agitations and militancy issues around host communities, but suggested that the application of the law and management of the allocated funds needs to be monitored to address the environmental impact of oil and gas operations in host communities.
Odinuwe also recommended careful implementation of the provisions of the PIA. According to him, driving the PIA must involve sustained consultations with all stakeholders on grey areas, including the judiciary to help interpret, understand, and apply the law to ensure proper management of funds such as the Host Communities Development Trust Fund (HCDTF) and others to protect the rights of all parties involved.
He stated that PETAN remains committed to its sustained role in the process till it is happy that the law guarantees sustainable prosperity.