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‘Technology, innovation key to improved oil, gas discoveries’

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An oil fracking site in Nigeria. SOURCE: Google

With the days of easy oil and gas discoveries long gone, stakeholders in the industry have emphasised on the need for operators to deploy aggressive use of technology and innovation to come by more discoveries.

This was the submission when stakeholders in the oil and gas industry converged at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE’s) 37th yearly conference and exhibition’s pre-conference workshop in Lagos.

NAPE President, Ajibola Oyebamiji stated that with the new era of disruption blowing across virtually all industries, now is the time to embrace new technology, as sustained low oil prices is driving the adoption of digitalization across the oil and gas industry.

He said: “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.

“It is of critical importance for government, policymakers and all stakeholders to have the necessary knowledge of how such technological changes can be deployed and sustained in developing countries (Nigeria inclusive). The development of relevant technologies suited to the Nigerian market should be seen as a key driver in guaranteeing energy security and diversification thereby boosting industrial development”.

The Deputy Managing Director, Deepwater District, Total E&P, Ahmadu-Kida Musa, said that there are still billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of gas yet to be discovered even in the matured areas.

In his words: “This is not to mention the frontier areas yet to be explored. The combination of enabling policies and innovation can turn the situation around. The dependence on conventional technologies that have been used in the past is surely not the only solution to harness the yet to find oil and gas potentials in Nigeria. We need to key into use of emerging technologies from safe exploration to HSE compliance implementation of the discovered resources.”

He added that the high prospectivity of very deep water and deep offshore still remains huge because there was practically no exploration activity carried out in the past, advising that favourable policies must always encourage the participation of key stakeholders focused innovation and technological advancements.

Outside policies of government, he called for increased focus on the technical aspects of exploration, pointing out that new digital technologies are coming on board aiding imaging and discovery of new oil and gas fields that were hitherto undiscoverable.

Delivering his keynote address, the Director, Oilfield Services, Sub-Saharan Africa, Baker Hughes, Herman Nieuwoudt, said the oil and gas industry has witnessed rapid technology advancement in recent years, saying that new technologies are providing different but undefined opportunities for producing unconventional oil and gas in different regions of the world.

He noted that technological change, in turn, is the main driver of the global trend in oil and gas industry and is of particular importance for government, policy makers and stakeholders to have the necessary knowledge of how such technological changes can be deployed and sustained in developing countries.

He added that a tailored and efficient technological growth strategy will play a major role in the further development of the oil and gas industry and spur future economic growth, stressing that the development of relevant technologies suited to the Nigerian market should be a key driver in guaranteeing energy security and diversification thereby boosting industrial development.


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Ajibola OyebamijiNAPE
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