…Country spent $340m in previous North-East search; additional N27bn in seismic expedition
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
If the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) makes good its plan to “resume active exploration activities in the Sokoto Basin,” then Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, is set to make deliberate move behind the rung in the ongoing global crusade in energy transition – a worldwide shift away from fossil fuels – to renewable energy sources.
Mele Kyari, group managing director, NPPC, while receiving Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State at the NNPC headquarters, said, the corporation plans to resume “active exploration activities” in the Sokoto Basin, at a time national governments around the worlds are decidedly moving in the direction of transition to renewable energy against fossil fuels.
Energy transition is the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption including oil, natural gas and coal — to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries. The increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix, the onset of electrification and improvements in energy storage are the key pushers of the energy transition.
Energy transition is increasing in importance as investors are now prioritizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. Also, the current push for regulation and commitment to decarbonization, though yet to be standardized, is contributary to call for energy transition.
Nigeria had already spent $340 million in many previous oil searches in the North-East, with additional N27 billion in seismic expedition – all yielding no fruit.
Kyari also said NNPC was committed to the partnership with the Kebbi State Government for the production of biofuels, describing the project as viable, and in tandem with the global transition to renewable energy.
Kebbi is one of the states the corporation was in partnership with for the development of renewable energy.
He said the rice production programme in the state was a definite boost to the biofuels project, adding that the linkage of the agricultural sector with the energy sector would facilitate economic growth and bring prosperity to the citizens.
“We will go ahead and renew the Memorandum of Understanding and bring in any necessary amendment that is required to make this business run faster,” Kyari said.
The Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu said he appreciated the NNPC for cooperating with the state on the biofuel project. He also said the state’s cassava programme was on course, though the same cannot be said of the sugarcane programme as the targeted milestone was yet to be attained.