The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, said Nigeria could ramp up crude oil production by as much as 800,000 barrel per day from deep offshore exploration.
The NUPRC boss expressed this optimism at the just concluded Oloibiri lecture series and energy forum 2022 conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) while reviewing the potential benefits of the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) in the context of the global transition to cleaner energy sources.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ discussions focused on “Global Energy Transition: Implications for Future Investments in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry.”
Gbenga Komolafe, whose overall responsibility as NUPRC helmsman centers on key regulatory functions to boost the healthy development of the country’s hydrocarbon industry, is faced with the challenge of revamping deep offshore projects that have now become uncertain due to a global agenda to phase out fossil fuel
The NUPRC boss explained that Nigeria’s abundant natural gas would serve as a transition fuel in fulfilling global demand for cleaner energy, but without the complete phaseout of crude oil production.
“Nigeria’s ambitious plan to increase daily oil production to 3 million barrels has begun to suffer setbacks, according to industry observers, because of the long delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act . This was also the reason why Shell Petroleum, TotalEnergy, Chevron, Mobil Upstream, and other IOCs dragged their feet on major investment decisions, such as the Bonga Southwest project, which would have added 150,000bpd to the country’s net daily production and 3 billion barrels in reserves.
“The main Bonga project was Nigeria’s first deepwater oil field and is presently producing 225,000 b/d of crude oil and 150 MMcf/d of gas, which feeds the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant at Bonny.
“Conservatively, Nigeria expects a foreign direct investment inflow of USD 25 billion to cover the proposed 225,000bpd Bonga Southwest-Aparo project; 120,000bpd Zabazaba-Etan project; 140,000bpd Bosi project; 110,000bpd Uge project; and 100,000bpd Nsiko deepwater projects. .
“The new regulatory framework provided by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is seen as a major enabler that could turn the tide in driving investments into the country’s dwindling oil production sector.
Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on his part said, “The issue of energy transition is historical and this is not the first time that the global community is faced with this form of challenge.”
Wabote added that Nigeria will continue to produce crude oil and gas whilst also developing renewable energy opportunities.