The long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with its governance aspect in President Mohammadu Buhari’s table has resurfaced.
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru has made a case for the domestication of oil and gas technologies within the African continent, saying such will develop capacity of the people, improve economies and emplace national oil and gas companies on the path of sustainable growth and development.
Baru stated further that African countries must react positively to new reality by deploying new policies and stabilise their business environment to attract meaningful investments.
He stated that critical to achieving that for Nigeria was the passage of the four components of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which is expected to usher in a new legislation that would not only enhance the investment climate in the country, but also change the fortunes of the country’s oil and gas business for the better.
Speaking on ‘Foundations for New Investment,’ at the 19th CERA Week conference taking place in Houston, United States (US), the NNPC chief executive added that over 319 trillion cubic feet of gas was yet to be discovered in the region, informing delegates that the corporation was opening up its business environment to ensure transparency and accountability in its dealing with all stakeholders.
He also lauded the federal government for its peace initiatives in the Niger Delta communities, which he said had seen the country hitting very high oil and gas production figures in recent years.
The GMD was of the view that over 41 billion barrels of crude oil is stranded in Sub-Saharan Africa, noting that the currently drilling activities in Kolmani River-II Well in the Benue Trough, one of Nigeria’s several frontier inland basins, would provide additional 400 Bcf of gas.
For Africa, particularly Nigeria, to harness these resources, he insisted that a new legislation, especially the PIB, must be passed to enhance investment, adding that from available information, the African global crude oil and gas outlook remained positive and on the upward trajectory.
According to him, West Africa as a sub-region holds the ace, in terms of offshore deep-water exploration hotspots, stating that a prolific 1.0 billion barrels of crude oil find was recently made at the Owowo Field, offshore Nigeria.
He urged foreign investors to explore the Nigerian ultra-deep terrain, which he described as largely untested.