By Adewale Sanyaolu

Amidst the new wave of energy transition across the globe now threatening the future of fossil fuel in favour of renewables, oil and gas experts have posited that the Nigerin industry still has great chances of survival.

Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers(SPE) Nigeria Council, Mr.Olatunji Akinwunmi, gave the assurance at a media briefing on the 2021 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy(OLEF) with the theme ‘‘Operational  Excellence and Portfolio Optimization, Way Forward For the Oil and Gas Industry Post COVID-19’’.

Akinwunmi while acknowledging that the current wave of energy transition would impact the future of fossil fuel, also noted that global top rated institutions including theHarvard University and Imperial College have temporarily suspended courses in Petroleum Engineering and Geology in order to come up with other offerings.

He maintained that despite these move towards energy transition, there are still lots of adaptation and capacity in the oil industry, stressing that while not dismissing that the shift from fossil fuel will impact the industry, Nigeria still has the scope for profitable development of its abundant resources in the oil and gas industry within the space of ongoing energy transition.

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‘‘For people that are old and closer to retirement, they still have a lot to do. But the debate about energy transition is really for the younger ones who are just coming into the industry,’’.

The SPE Chairman disclosed that when students go to school to study Engineering, they are trained to be open-minded, saying a lot of Engineers that are today Petroleum Engineers actually read Civil, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering and even Physics or Chemistry for their first degrees. He stated that because of the opportunities in the oil and gas industry, these set of graduates in other fields were quickly absorbed and converted. He further assured that should we be going into the renewable world, the sort of adaptation that happened to these set of converted experts will take place for people that will be impacted by the change.

‘‘We will have that adaptation because we know how to construct things, manage projects, move things from one place to the other, including logistics, transport, project management and sub surface in the oil industry.

The knowledge anyone have in Geology or Geophysics is easily transferable to geothermal energy. This is why I see it that there is really no cause for alarm but that experts should maintain the open-mindedness that will allow them to face the transition easily when it comes to affect them.