Lagos, Nov. 14, 2023: Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has warned against Nigeria’s potential reliance on imported crude oil for its existing and upcoming refineries.
This, he noted, could happen if immediate measures were not taken to address the current low production levels.
Wabote gave the warning in his goodwill message at the 41st Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) on Monday in Lagos.
Wabote expressed his concern over Nigeria’s underwhelming production of crude oil and gas, despite the country’s abundant reserves.
He urged members of NAPE and other industry stakeholders to collaborate in reversing the situation.
Wabote specifically emphasised the need to closely monitor Nigeria’s 37 billion barrels of oil reserves, particularly due to the ongoing efforts to revamp existing refineries and establish new ones.
He cautioned that it would be unfortunate if, after ceasing the importation of refined petroleum products, Nigeria were to resort to importing crude oil for the operation of its local refineries.
Wabote commended the vital role played by petroleum explorationists in the energy sector.
He acknowledged their contribution to the discovery, evaluation, and establishment of reliable and sustainable oil and gas reserves.
In terms of natural gas, Wabote revealed that Nigeria possesses approximately 208 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves, in addition to around 600 TCF of unproven reserves.
He encouraged petroleum explorationists to utilise their expertise and advanced technology to determine the recoverable volumes from these unproven reserves and develop the proven ones.
Highlighting the significance of gas, Wabote stated that it was no longer considered a transitional fuel in Nigeria but had become the ultimate destination fuel.
He assured that the NCDMB remained fully committed to supporting President Bola Tinubu’s gas business agenda.
Discussing the conference’s theme, “Repositioning the oil and gas industry for future energy dynamics”, Wabote stressed the critical importance of addressing the energy trilemma.
According to him, this involves finding a balance between energy security, sustainability, and affordability.
He acknowledged that the world is currently at a crucial juncture where careful considerations must be made to tackle this challenge effectively.
He indicated that repositioning the Nigerian oil and gas industry for national development required collaboration and partnerships with key players and agencies across the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors and its entire value chain.
He said that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Act (2010) provided the compass to enable the development and growth of local capacities and capabilities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Wabote commended the Federal Government’s determination to sustain the gains realised in the oil and gas industry and the eagerness to consolidate them rather than reverse the gains of Nigerian Content.
He conveyed the board’s readiness to support various oil and gas initiatives that would ensure patronage of local investments, boost investors’ confidence, and create jobs to sustain the relative peace in the oil and gas sector.