‘Nigeria needs continuous bidrounds to offset instability in oil sector’
An industry expert, who served as Deputy Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) Egbert Ulogo Imomoh, in Abuja on Wednesday, said continuous bid rounds were needed to enable Nigeria wet the shocks in the oil and gas industry.
Ulugo, said bid rounds would attract new players that would bring in new technology that could help the sector mitigate challenges.Speaking at a lecture series, organised by Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), he said: “ our industry has been very unstable against the backdrop of unstable prices of crude and what we have to do to offset that instability is to have a continuous bid rounds, because the bid rounds will attract new players that will bring in new technology .
“You need to have that healthy, regular injection of new people and new technology by having bid rounds at least once every two years.”Ulogo disclosed that the oil and gas industry remained unstable for a long period of time due to unstable prices of crude in the international market, adding that regular conduct of bid rounds wo have the capacity to attract needed investment and technology that would lead to the growth of the sector.
According to him, issuance of bid rounds every two years would give every stakeholder the opportunity to participate in the exploration of more prolific areas particularly in the Niger Delta region.“Two years will allow you to prepare and review and allow people to prepare themselves for the investments. If you look at it, the Niger Delta is full of opportunities, there are fields we have not worked on for a long time, I believe if you make them available, new players and technology will come in, that is why I say we should do it every two years,” he stated.
The first formal marginal field bid round was concluded in 2003, when the Federal Government awarded 24 marginal fields to 31 indigenous oil and gas companies. An additional 6 was later awarded bringing to 30 the number of marginal fields so far awarded in the country.
Ulogo pegged the future of Nigerias oil and gas industry on an unrelenting and vigorous pace of exploration activities which is made possible by regular bid rounds.He stressed that Nigeria needs to prevent a decline in reserves and enhance revenue generation.
The expert said while the country attracts new technologies and resources, it could therefore invest more in areas such as gas which has the potential of becoming the real engine of growth for the Nigerian economy.
Ulogo urged PTDF as a capacity building agency of government for the industry should engage more in collaborative programmes with international and national oil companies to provide solutions to specific oil and gas industry problems.
“As much as PTDF is working and helping to solve problems, I suggest a meeting of minds to have a clear definition of the problems and agreement to what the solution is and then we begin to proffer that solution. I believe it is something you need to work on”, he added.
The Executive Secretary PTDF, Bello Gusau PTDF as part of its strategic policy to relate more with active players in the industry would continue to engage and tap from their experiences in order to increase on its visibility and linkages with the oil and gas industry.