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‘Nigeria’s oil, gas industry has lost its innovative edge’


Nosa Omorodion,

Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is said to have lost its innovative edge in recent years given the prevalence of old-fashioned thought and work processes.

The Director, NOCs/Nigerian Independents, Schlumberger, Nosa Omorodion, said this at the Annual Alumni Convention/Convocation Lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

While delivering a lecture on, Global Energy Transition: What it Means for Nigeria, he said: “We in some ways became victims of our own success during the ‘boom years’ when there was no compelling need to change the status quo. Unlike other industries (for instance telecommunications) that witnessed disruptive technologies almost every 18 months, we have built rigid platforms on decade-old processes and systems.”

He added, “The unprecedented structural changes we are witnessing today provide an opportunity for radical change.”He expressed the belief that the university community would lead the charge to recapture this innovative edge, adding that Petrel, which is a software now considered the industry gold standard for seismic data interpretation, was developed by a group of academics in Norway ITechnoguide) before being acquired by Schlumberger.

“I sometimes wonder where the next Petrel will come from. Why can’t the next Pretel be invented in FUTA?” he asked. Omorodion said the world is viewing technological advancement with a different set of lenses in real time, quantifiable and simplistic approach, noting that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), is about solving human problems using an inter-disciplinary and applied approach.

He added: “it is birthing ideas that showcase the integration of science to our lives, and its competitiveness in science and technology development. It has implications for everything in a personal and nation agenda: workforce development, social amenities utilization and availability, community’s health and safety, national security concerns, among others.

“Our natural resources can only be converted to capital through the continuous advancement of STEM and as a technology institution that we are; we need to be deliberate about ensuring this integration. What can we do with all the natural resources available to us?”According to him, universities should act as innovation hubs in the country’s efforts to diversify, adding that we are fully in the era of digitization and there is now a new normal – big data, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence technologies.

He identified energy transition as real, saying population growth was one thing that will remain constant. “Hydrocarbon is going nowhere despite the increased focus in renewable.”

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