A new strategy for the Nigerian petroleum industry woven around people, partnerships, profits, and posterity is being canvassed by Mele Kyari, group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), even as he challenged stakeholders in the sector to evolve innovative ways to reposition the sector for sustainability.
Kyari, at the opening of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Energy Industry Transformation Summit (NEITS) 2020 on Tuesday, said innovative ways were needed to move the industry forward in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement by Kennie Obateru, group general manager, group public affairs division of the NNPC, Kyari explained that the new normal era brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic has, more than ever, reinforced the need to upskill the human capacity within the industry for the next phase, and develop the capacity to attract, train and retain people in the sector.
Obateru said the NNPC chief spoke on the theme: “Changing Global Energy Landscape: Repositioning for Industry Sustainability” and quotes him as stating thus:
“There must be collaboration across different dimensions; government, industry, academia, and, particularly, with the communities where we carry out our operations. The social license to operate is critical to the Industry’s long term survival. Also, partnership among Industry peers to chart new ways of resolving Industry challenges and preparing for tomorrow cannot be over emphasized. I am delighted the SPE provides such veritable platform”.
According to the statement, Kyari disclosed that for sustainability, industry players must learn to manage cost, improve efficiency and deliver required cashflow (margins) for reinvestment and expansion, stressing that without creating profit today, “we wouldn’t be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that keeps us viable and ready for tomorrow”.
Industry players should always act and take decisions with posterity in mind, Kyari is also quoted to have said, noting that it is key to repositioning the industry for sustainability.
“We must bequeath to the next generation a world worthy to live in. Our operations must, therefore, be carried out in a safe manner without adversely impacting the environment. As you know, most discussions around energy substitution or green economy stem from looking at the industry as ‘dirty’ and ‘unconscionable’. It must be reiterated that our industry remains the bedrock of modern human existence. We must, therefore, work to create a positive view if we are to remain relevant in the long run,” the statement quotes Kyari to have declared.
The statement also quoted Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, as saying that the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would ensure that the abundant natural gas resources are used to promote national development.
According to Obateru, the minister added that in collaboration with stakeholders, the ministry, under his watch, would promote domestic utilization of gas resources so as to create job opportunities for Nigerians.
In a keynote address, the statement noted, Shauna Noonan, president, SPE International, clarified that the concept of energy transition was not to wipe out fossil fuel but rather an aspiration for cleaner energy.
Noonan is also quoted as stating that the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, has a great role to play in reducing energy poverty, and that she noted that energy transition was important for greater value in the global oil and gas industry.
Joseph Nwakwue, the chairman, SPE Nigeria Council, said the society was ready to offer professional services and work with all stakeholders to move the industry forward, Obateru’s statement noted.
Part of the society was focused on capacity building to develop the required skill set for the oil and industry operations, Nwakwue is noted to have said, and he stressed that it was what informed the choice of the theme of the conference.