Despite global pressure for decarbonisation and Nigeria’s commitment to net-zero emission target by 2050, TotalEnergies and SeplatEnergy have vowed to continue exploration activities and drill more oil wells across Nigeria in the coming years.
This was part of issues discussed at the 39th Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) Annual International Conference and Exhibition, in Lagos.
The international oil company, a Nigerian leading energy company and other stakeholders at the conference said they were aligning their exploration and production activities with the government’s energy transition in relation to the continued production of fossil fuels in the country.
They, however, noted that while efforts are being made to reduce their carbon footprints in all operational networks, exploration activities will focus more on reducing carbon emission with the use of environmental technology.
Mr. Victor Bamidele, Deputy Managing Director, TotalEnergies, at the conference noted that his company will continue to drill more oil wells in Nigeria, with a target to increasing its crude production to 40,000 barrels per day by first half of 2022, while noting that TotalEnergies is a major player in the Nigeria’s energy transition and is working towards net-zero by 2050.
He said,“There is going to be exploration in Nigeria. TotalEnergies is committed to consolidating on oil and gas exploration and production. We are committed to achieving 40,000 barrels per day by first quarter of 2022. We will be drilling more exploration wells across the country. Nigerian explorationists will be handling some of these projects for us.
“Currently our energy mix are 55 percent crude oil, 40 percent gas and 5 percent electricity, but by 2030, this will be 50% natural gas , 35% percent oil and 15% electricity. In 2050, the energy mix will be 40% renewable energy, 40% natural gas and 20% percent liquid product. Total Enegies worldwide, is committed to this target and working with all our stakeholders to achieve this. We belief it is to deliver more energy to all nations across the world.”
He, however, charged the Federal Government to expedite action on energy transition so the country can benefit from immediate opportunities that global energy dynamic presents, adding that the country is well positioned to benefit from these opportunities.
“PIA needs to be managed efficiently transiting from old to new. The new act will address some of the challenges of exploration and production. Stakeholders must continue to put pressure on government to ensure that PIA is properly implemented. We need to address security issues both onshore and offshore, vandalisation of pipeline, crude theft, and marine piracy issues.”
He noted that litigation from host communities against oil companies is a lot of distraction for producers, saying IOCs rely on the implementation of the PIA.
“Taking strides in the opportunities in local content, we are only reducing carbon footprint overtime. We are working in alignment with what every countries in the world are doing on cleaner energy and decarbonisation.
“In Nigeria, our situation is not exactly as it in Europe. We need to develop gas infrastructure to align with the developmental scheme in Nigeria. Total is aligning with the vision of the FG. This has positioned us to remain in Nigeria.”
He said further, “My project is not only tested on the basis of how much oil and gas we are producing. It is checked against how much carbon I am emitting.”
He also promised to focus more on doing a lot of internal checks in operational network, to ensure that the Nigerian companies offset the carbon footprint of Total Energy globally. He noted that TE is interested in other forms of renewable energy in Nigeria if the policy of government permits.
Operations Director at Seplat, Mr. Effiong Okon, who represented Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the company said that exploration activities in Nigeria will be on for a longer time than the global community expected.
He said, “For us at Seplat, we will continue to expand our oil and gas portfolio and guarantee regular energy supply to Nigeria and Africa at large.
“What is clear is that, the world will pay dearly for energy transition. Many investors are having challenge with raising capital, because they are subjected to Environment Social Governance (ESG) screening. Lot of investments are going into renewable space and less investment going into fossil fuel production.
“This portends a danger for the growing global population especially in Africa where the population is expected to go much higher overtime.
“Nigeria has massive opportunity to gain with its oil and gas resources to meet global energy needs. The country’s population, GDP, energy demand, and power generation will all double within the next few years. The country needs about 30 GW of electricity.
“This is where we are optimistic of playing a significant role as an energy company, deploying resources into investment in all energy mixes including gas , oil and renewable.
“The huge focus for us is attainment of the net-zero target before 2060. This is does not mean that we won’t be producing fossil fuels, but we shall be mopping up and direct our operations in compliance with all environment requirements.
“Over the year, Nigeria has been relying on petroleum product importation. This gives us opportunity to close the import gap and investment more in the Nigerian gas market. We just need to build infrastructure and raise funds for more investment in energy mix.
“Government needs to address issues of security on all our facilities. We recently lost almost $400million cash due to sabotage on our major trunk lines across Nigeria.
“Despite this, we are committed to energy transition. We have keyed into natural gas as Nigerian’s transition fuel, albeit, gas is not green, there is a huge potential in African and Nigeria market. Investors can play, for as long as there is right policies and investment framework in place.”
He however noted that SeplatEnergy is committed to producing more gas to support effort by the players in the sector to displace diesel generators and make the environment more cleaner.
Patricia Ochogbu, outgoing President of Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE, revealed that oil and gas will continue to be relevant both now and the foreseeable future.
She said, “This petroleum product is a critical component of the energy mix that is required to sustain the growing energy demand in Nigeria and other African countries in the next five decades.
“There is no gain saying that the world needs a clean energy, and Africa needs more cleaner energy.
“Nigeria needs alot of more safe and clean energy across the nooks and cranny of our country. Our task as explorationist, is to be environmental custodians and be committed to safety and efficiency on all the operational network.”
According to her, technological advancement (Digitalisation) has contributed greatly to our industry advancement, stating further that more frontier basins are now easily discovered with the use of technological kits.
“ Nationally, we have not taken advantage of the digitization opportunities, hence, needs for explorations to be focused on deploying this tool to sustain and improve our operations,” the NAPE President said.
She noted that NAPE is committed to exploring virtual and artificial intelligence, using both conventional and unconventional energy sources to deliver on exploration activities.