The Managing Director of Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria (TUCN), Nicholas Terraz, extolled the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) at its annual conference held recently in Lagos. Terraz appreciated the opportunity to join other well-meaning Nigerians who graced the epic event. He explained further that “No one can deny the fact that NAEC as an integral part of the fourth estate of the realm is a critical stakeholder in the national duty of building Nigeria, providing good governance and making life meaningful for the populace.” He expressed optimism that “The media all over the world have proven to be a veritable instrument of democracy; feted by patriots, dreaded by tyrants.”
According to Terraz, the association being a body of journalists who cover and report the energy subsector of the Nigerian economy, it should really know that all is not well with the polity. He maintained that “The oil industry is facing prolonged low prices that are just beginning to show hopeful signs that the worst is over while the power sector though with boundless opportunities is faced with a legion of challenges.”
Besides, he commended NAEC for choosing a very apposite theme: “PIGB: Prospects and Challenges to Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry”. It is noteworthy that ”The oil and gas operating environment in Nigeria had for long been beclouded by regulatory and fiscal uncertainties due to the non-passage of the omnibus Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) resulting in loss of investments as investors who dread uncertainty diverted their funds to more friendly climes,” Terraz exclaimed.
The Total boss made it known that the company as an international, integrated energy company with presence in more than 130 countries around the world is always willing to work with host nations for the provision of “Better Energy” which in a nutshell means improving the lives of the citizens of its host nations, beyond the provision of clean and affordable energy. Total in Nigeria therefore welcomes the passage of the PIGB and fervently hopes that no effort will be spared in addressing all regulatory and fiscal hurdles facing the industry, in a holistic manner. He stated that the Total Group has unflinching faith in the future of Nigeria and the company is present along the value chain from upstream to the downstream sector where it is a leader with close to five hundred and fifty service stations across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
The Total helmsman disclosed that in the last five years, the Total Group has invested about $10 billion in the Nigerian oil and gas sector with expertise and strong position in the onshore, offshore and deep offshore. The company’s Egina field development which is nearly completed, is expected to add 200 kb/d to Nigeria’s output when it comes on stream in 2018.
Terraz appraised the Association that has continuously proved its relevance by being in touch with the people on contemporary issues like Victor Hugo observed, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” He made it clear that “The time has come for all hands to be on deck as we seek innovative solutions to the challenges of our oil and gas and energy macro sector.”