Following investors’ bid to establish modular refineries, the Ministry of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on Thursday expressed fear that the rate of gas flaring in the country will rise.
His Senior Technical Adviser on Investment, Dr. Tim Okon, who represented him in Abuja during the presentation of the report on “New Nigeria Oil &Gas Framework and Policy”, however vowed that the government will control the operations of the refineries.
His words: “Modular refineries will worsen our flare. We have to use economics of scale. If we have many refineries they will accentuate problems. So we we will have to control them.”
He announced that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will next year call for expression of interest (bids) for marginal fields, which will be opened for companies’ participation.
According to him, prior to the exercise, the marginal field policy would have come into force.
The NNPC, said the minister, will ensure that the Niger Delta gets micro businesses to do as the government is keen about providing a business friendly environment.
He revealed that there will be a critical legislation to make gas independent of government subsidy, which has caused significant loss of revenue from the product.
Kachikwu added that, “we want to make sure that gas can economically stand on its own.”
He said that in the new scheme of things, government intervention in the petroleum sector will focus on developing entrepreneurs in the country to discourage “sharing money that distort political discourse and value system.”
Before the event ended, Kachikwu arrived in person. He said that besides oil, Nigeria is a country with deliverable resources, with an educated and aggressive populace.
Commenting on the economic state of the nation and taking into cognizance of its potentials, he said “I imagine what Nigeria could become if we do the right thing.”
He noted that the essence of the seven big wins is to bring out the latent opportunities in the oil and gas system to take a collaborative responsibility to assist those who really want to become players in the field.
The minister said that the sector had been locked down by interest groups for too long positively or negatively, however time has come to open up the areas that are there.
He pointed out that it is now the responsibility of the ministry to assist those that have creative ideas about the industry to “creates employment and development.”
He recalled that he announced the concept of project 100 in Houston, which is to identify 100 Nigerians with skills, capacities and enthusiasm for the relevant assistance from government.