The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, has said the passage of the four components of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which is expected to usher in a new legislation, will change the fortunes of the nation’s oil and gas sector for the better.
Baru said the passage of the bill would enhance the investment climate in the country, called on foreign investors to explore the Nigerian ultra-deep terrain, which he described as largely untested.
He noted that a prolific one billion barrels of crude oil find was recently made at the Owowo field, offshore Nigeria.
He further stated that more than 41 billion barrels of crude oil and 319 trillion cubic feet of gas were yet to be discovered in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Baru noted that from available information, the African global crude oil and gas outlook remained positive and on the upward trajectory, adding that West Africa as the sub-region held the ace in terms of offshore deep water exploration hot spots.
The NNPC boss disclosed this during a special session on Africa, entitled, ‘Foundations for New Investment,’ at the ongoing 19th CERAWeek Conference taking place in Houston, United States.
Baru told his audience that in Nigeria NNPC was currently drilling Kolmani River-II Well in the Benue Trough, one of Nigeria’s several frontier inland Basins with about 400 billion standard cubic feet of gas expected to be encountered.
The occasion, according to a statement from the NNPC on Thursday, also provided an opportunity for Baru to make a case for the domestication of oil and gas technologies within the African continent.
The NNPC GMD said, “It is my belief that domesticating these cutting-edge technologies will develop the capacity of our people, improve our economies and emplace our national oil and gas companies on the path of sustainable growth and development.”
He said African countries must react positively to the new reality by deploying policies and stabilise their business environment to attract meaningful investments.
He informed delegates at the conference that the NNPC was opening up its business environment to ensure transparency and accountability in its dealing with all stakeholders.
Ministers and high level energy executives from Mali, Somalia, Namibia and Uganda were among panelists at the special session.
Organised by IHS Markit, CERAWeek is a global platform on energy trends and public policy where over 4,000 oil and gas experts convene annually to debate the future of oil, natural gas, renewable energy, power and new technologies.