NAPE to address nation’s oil and gas challenges

The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) on Thursday said it would assemble indigenous stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to find solution to the nation’s declining oil reserve.

The President of the association, Mrs Adedoja Ojelabi, disclosed this in Lagos while briefing the media on NAPE’s upcoming conference.

According to Ojelabi, for the first time in several years, the nation’s oil reserve is showing a sign of decline as exploration drilling has hit the lowest level ever experienced in the nation’s history.

“Expectedly, reports of new discoveries are few and the reserves are getting smaller while the Nigerian oil and gas industry landscape has, in the last five years or so, witnessed some of the most sweeping changes.

“On the international scene, the advent of shale has proved to be a game for major players within the Atlantic basin region.

“On the other hand, the state of the oil and gas discovery in other African countries is putting a lot of pressure on Nigeria as favourite destination for oil and gas investment on the continent,’’ she said.

Ojelabi said that the operating environment in the industry was experiencing an unprecedented rate of pluralisation, adding that the sector had witnessed a high number of divestments.

She said that it was against this background that NAPE would explore emerging and revolutionary technologies for hydrocarbon exploration at its 32nd Annual International Conference and Exhibition.

She stressed the need for the Federal Government to urgently create aggressive policies for hydrocarbon reserves replacement in its quest to achieve its crude oil reserve target of 40 billion barrels.

“The government projected 40 billion barrels of crude oil reserve and four million barrels of crude oil production per day for 2010 which were not realised.

“It has now projected the same targets for 2020. All these projections will be achieved if there are strong policies on ground to encourage more investment in crude oil exploration,” she said.

The NAPE president explained that the declining level of oil exploration may not be totally blamed on the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as many people were inclined to believe.

Instead, she blamed the situation, which included shortfall in crude oil reserve, on declining exploration activities by oil companies operating in the country.

According to her, these companies now concentrate more on drilling for production rather than for exploration, which should boost the country’s reserve.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Department of Petroleum Resources recently said that the nation’s oil reserve had dropped from 40 billion barrels to 35 billion barrels.

It attributed the development to reduction in oil production in the country, saying that some oil wells in the Niger Delta region had stopped production because they had attained “maturity.”

The department also held vandalism and other unwholesome acts in the oil distribution process in the region accountable for the drawback.

It said that the situation was worrisome and needed urgent attention in order to boost exploration and shore up the dwindling reserve.

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