Pangs of low crude prices hit oil firms
Nigerian companies operating in the upstream oil and gas industry have cried out on the severe impact of the sliding crude oil prices on their operation.
The sector operators lamented that the nation has lost about $21 billion to the plummeting crude oil price saga, while the oil companies reel in financial quagmire.
The Managing Director of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Austin Avuru, at the 13th Aret Adams Annual Lecture Series in Lagos, said that Nigerian independent oil companies were most affected by the drop in price of oil globally.
Speaking on the topic: “Low Oil Prices: Challenges and Opportunities,” Avuru said: “We all borrowed to fund acquisition and growth capex. Many are now cash negative and yet need more investments for production increase to survive,”
According to him, an average of $60 per barrel was required for most companies to survive in 2016, adding that the nation needs to embrace effective domestic utilisation of fossil fuels to survive.
The Seplat boss said that because Nigeria heavily depends on oil to balance its economy, the drop in oil prices was a huge blow to the country’s major revenue.
Speaking in the same vein, the Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Clay Neff, said Nigeria had the opportunity to improve its competitive position in the global oil and gas industry.
Neff said Nigeria had lost about $21 billion investment due to the dwindling oil prices and lack of investor confidence in the country in the last two years.
According to him, Nigeria should under this current situation restore investor confidence by providing for competition in the domestic oil market.
He said the country should ensure security of live and properties and control stability and simply approval processes.
The Chevron boss said that the country should solve joint venture funding challenges and payback arrears, adding that Nigeria had an attractive resource base.
Chairman of the occasion, Malam Muhammed Hayatu-Deen, , said discovery of oil had a global impact in the world economy.
Hayatu-Deen, who is also the Chairman, Alpine Investment Limited, said while some used it to reverse their economy, others wasted it.