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…There is a still window of opportunity for Nigeria to realize its Hydrocarbon objectives

 In his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of Nigeria Independent Petroleum Summit (NIPS), GMD, Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Limited, Victor Okoronkwo noted that 20 years ago, Benedict Peters founded a company called Sigmund Communecci trading in refined products. That company became the building block of what is today known as the AITEO GROUP. Aiteo Group has diverse interests which cut across the energy value chain today; with Upstream, Midstream and Downstream assets.

Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd (Aiteo E&P) started up as an SPV to participate in the IOCs’ asset divestment exercise of 2014. Aiteo Eastern E&P emerged the winner of the competitive bid for 45% private stake held by Shell (30%), TOTAL (10%) and AGIP (5%) in OML 29, and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), under the NNPC-SPDC Joint Venture. By virtue of this successful acquisition, Aiteo E&P is the operator of the NNPC-Aiteo Joint Venture.  OML 29, located in the swamp of the Niger Delta. The company  has 6 flow stations, and 4 Associated Gas Gathering Compressors Stations.  The Nembe Creek Trunk Line is a strategic national oil delivery infrastructure transporting crude from 6 producers to the Bonny Crude Oil Terminal.

At the opening ceremony Okoronkwo extolled the Ministry of Petroleum resources for its laudable initiative of NIPS as a platform for the world to meet Nigeria’s oil and gas players. “I recall at the maiden edition of the NIPS in 2018, Mr. President in his welcome address said, I am pleased that this summit is targeted at an inclusive audience. Nigeria’s worthy presence in the petroleum sphere demands that this summit occurs regularly and should extend beyond our hydrocarbons”

He said Aiteo is grateful to be partnering NIPS, and trust that the Hon. Minister will bring his leadership streak from the successful Practical Nigerian Content Summit held in Yenagoa, in November 2019 to bear on the NIPS circuit.

Okoronkwo asserted “We cannot overemphasize the pivotal role oil and gas play in the Nigerian economy contributing an estimated 56.8% of National revenue (ref. CBN Quarterly Economic Report Average: Q4 2017-Q3 2019) and about 88% of foreign exchange earnings (ref. KPMG Industry Insight report April, 2019).”

Nigeria is not isolated from the current wave of global energy transition. The energy transition has largely been driven by three key factors namely Environmental, Technological advancements and National Policy Realignments.

He said climate change is a serious issue that has gained ascendance in shaping global policy discussions with respect to actualizing less carbon intensive scenarios. However, given the diverse applications of hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon derivatives in support of human civilization and industrialization, fossils will continue to play a dominant role in the global energy mix in the foreseeable future. 

Consequently, there is still a window of opportunity for Nigeria to realize its Hydrocarbon objectives of 3MMbbl/d production, and 40Billion bbls of Reserves by 2025. “Rest assured, Aiteo E&P is poised and is working assiduously towards significant contribution to this goal” Okoronkwo added.

He emphasized that overall, with the continued reliance and high demand for oil and gas, prices for these commodities will remain exposed to geopolitical events, climate considerations, and in this age of disruptions, black swan events like the Sept 2019 bombing of the Saudi oil facilities, and the current coronavirus outbreak still poses challenges to the industry.

Okoronkwo reiterated that the imperatives for success will therefore be predicated on amongst other factors, creating a stable operating environment as well as establishing robust regulatory and fiscal frameworks. Key energy industry reforms will be critical in boosting investor confidence and attracting otherwise elusive investments into Nigeria. “To put our current reality into perspective, in 2018 while the Foreign Direct Investment to Africa rose 11% to $46 billion, the FDI to Nigeria shrunk 43% to $2 billion whilst Ghana received $3 billion (ref. world investment report 2019). This is in contrast to the vast hydrocarbon resource base Nigeria is blessed with (largest oil and gas reserves in Africa).”

He urged stakeholders to ponder these burning issues with a view to articulating holistic solutions, the bedrock upon which the survival of the country is hinged upon.

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