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‘Exploration in frontier basins would help Nigeria hedge uncertainties’

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Notwithstanding competition from renewables, the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has said the government would not relent in its exploration activities in the frontier basins, especially in the Benue trough, by deploying new technologies that aid investment decision-making.

NAPE President, Alex Tarka, preparatory to the Association’s yearly conference and exhibition, told journalists yesterday that the commercial viability of the exploration exercise is not in doubt going by recent discoveries.

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According to him, increasing exploration activities will help the nation increase its reserves and equally give the nation the opportunity to influence geopolitical decisions among oil-producing nations.

He noted that Nigeria is at risk of long-term disruption to oil and gas supplies, power generation, a collapse of industries, and significant loss of revenue due to continued reduction in hydrocarbon exploration activities, adding that reduction in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation has dire consequences for a country like Nigeria with a mono-economy hinged on crude oil.

Themed “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves: Emerging Concepts, Challenges, and Opportunities”, Tarka explained that so much technology has been deployed in the exploration work at the frontier basin, adding that the technology deployed has been diverse and sophisticated.

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According to him, oil and gas will continue to be fuels of choice for the foreseeable future and conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons are likely to remain the main component of the energy mix needed to meet the growing global energy demand in the next five decades.

“ In the coming period, technological innovations will be critical not only in ensuring the supply of affordable hydrocarbons, but in mitigating the environmental impact of hydrocarbon exploration, production, and utilization.

“Technology is the heart of all the significant achievements in the oil and gas industry. The way hydrocarbon is discovered, developed and produced, has been impacted by evolutionary technologies that have emerged since the Drake well of 1859. But the challenge is how far Nigeria has travelled down the technology road.

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“It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) will at its 38th Annual International Conference & Exhibition be deliberating on the petroleum business and the regulatory environment with a view to addressing the challenges of exploration and production in the onshore, offshore and Nigeria’s frontier basins, as well as government and regulatory agencies’ support and funding, Cash Call Exit and incentives, new fiscal regimes, PIB, NIPEX operations, Licensing rounds, refining capacity mid-stream infrastructure and the domestic gas market”, he added.

He said that the Conference will also be beaming its searchlight on new technology applications in exploration and production using big data, digitalization, data analytics, artificial intelligence opportunities, etc.

Participants at the Conference will also be discussing the impact of renewable and unconventional energy resources in the oil and gas industry as well as grooming the next generation of E&P professionals.

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