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The second edition of the West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (WAIPEC) organized by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) which was held recently, was aimed at addressing critical issues affecting the oil industry and how it will sustain West Africa oil and gas production through innovation and collaboration.  The sessions were rich in technical content as stakeholders dissected issues being discussed showing willingness to make necessary sacrifices to sustain the industry towards a viable stable and prosperous future for operators. Bank Anthony Okoroafor, Chairman of PETAN, posited that the conference was “apt considering the hovering of the 60s of USD price environment that the industry is currently facing at a time when the global energy industry is still grappling with daunting challenges of oil everywhere and attendant oil prices hovering around $69 with their effect on affected economies.”

WAIPEC offers a veritable opportunities to oil industry stakeholders to gather, deliberate and make ideas of relevant development, trends and challenges. According to Okoroafor, “It is noteworthy that the conference organized by the industry for the industry, that is why it is the best conference this year.” Some of the issues addressed was how can Nigerian and African oil can and gas industries compete effectively with today’s challenging market? How can the industry strengthens regional cooperation in the oil and gas sector through legislative initiatives? How the future of global oil and gas industry will replicate the impact in the African region.

Okoroafor submitted that global energy transition is the way forward for Nigeria including funding an investment in the African oil and gas industry. The conference panel sessions gave insights on how African companies can better compete in challenging market, experts were brought to discuss growing and current realities that affect production and reserve. Panel discussion also focused on extending the value chain through refining petrochemicals and gas processor, strategies, incentives and opportunities to increase the Gross Domestic Product from the oil and gas sectors in Africa. Driving regional local content collaboration, stabilization and growth. The PETAN Chairman made it known that security challenges is becoming more complex, high and increasing unit of production, funding challenges, budget deficit, industry activities and uncertainty of physical frameworks. Experts considered innovation of conventional and unconventional opportunities with strategies. Seasoned industry stakeholders were assembled and expert who dissected issues from their perspectives and experiences.

Giving his remark at the conference, Honourable Emmanuel Ekon, Chairman, House Committee on Local Content, was elated about the conference which created avenue for stakeholders to deliberate on salient issues about the industry. Ekon stated, “I am delighted to be here because today, I am not going to be asked about the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).” He appreciated industry stakeholders who contributed in the passage of the PIGB, the National Assembly has done its part and waiting for executive assent on the bill.

Ekon disclosed that the second reading of the Local Content law is a bit slow because the National Assembly needs guidance on international protocols before going ahead. The House Committee on Local Content had a retreat in Port Harcourt in which international experts were invited to throw some light on how to navigate international trade laws and treaties, as soon as they are done, the bill will be passed into law. He assured that there will be less resistance having had the kind of achievement that has been recorded with the existing Local Content in the oil and gas, it is going to be a smooth ride to pass the bill into law.

Ekon thanked PETAN for providing leadership, according to him, “Nigeria is a big country which is supposed to be a big brother in Africa, and PETAN has just assumed that leadership role by organizing this conference.” The conference offered practical results that will be fruitful to the oil industry. The lawmaker commended members of PETAN for their supportive role for the oil industry including regional commitment that has to do with the National Assembly.


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