By Adewale Sanyaolu

 

The planned oil bid round being promoted by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), will grow Nigeria’s oil reserve above the current 37 billion barrels, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) has assured.

Chairman of PETAN, Mr. Wole Ogunsanya, stated this in an interview on the sidelines of the Oil Technology Conferences which ended in Houston, Texas, recently.

Ogunsanya maintained that with the collaboration of all industry stakeholders, especially those in the service with experience spanning over 30 years, the country will reap bountifully from the bid round exercise.

He hinted that the core of the oil bid round is to grow the country’s reserves above its current level so that Nigeria would be able to meet its Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), production quota.

‘‘This exercise is under the exclusive responsibility of NUPRC. We have confidence in the leadership, that they will do the right thing. Our role is to support as a foremost professional body in Nigeria.

We are bringing experts to the industry. We are also showing them that the assets are promising. In Nigeria, we have all the services that are required to bring the oil out of the ground. That explains why we are bringing our partners to Nigeria.

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The PIA has made it very easy for investors to come in, invest and have returns on their investments. The minister talked about oil companies being able to invest and repatriate their proceeds.

For us as PETAN, we are supporting the entire process because we are seeing the good work that NUPRC is doing. The bid round will be successful because we are talking about big oil fields. These are deep water assets where billions of Dollars would be spent. Of course, NUPRC will ensure that we attract the right investors. Some of them are already operating in Nigeria while others will come from outside the country. All we need to do is to present the assets to them the right way.

On the strategy to attract the right investors, we have to look at it from the macroeconomic point of view. It is better to allow people that have the capacity to come in. At the end of the day, the benefits will come to Nigeria. We need much revenue from oil and gas to develop other sectors of our economy’’.

The PEATN Chairman added that the proceeds for the oil bid round will allow the States to have enough funds, develop many infrastructures, including power assets to deliver additional and stable electricity to Nigerians.

This, he said, remained the reason why the government had to abolish the regime of humongous payment  of  signature bonuses that ought to accrue to it but encouraging investors to deploy such funds into the development of the oil fields acquired.

According to him, this latest approach by Government will enable investors inject more resources into funding their capital projects, produce more oil and gas in commercial quantity to the benefit of Nigerians and the economy.

“We need to build capacity for the local industry. A lot of people are looking for jobs. Where will those jobs come from if we decide to lock up our God given natural resources beneath the ground? We need to unlock both human and natural potentials.

We have hundreds of universities and engineering schools churning out huge number of graduates annually without jobs to do. It is good to start from somewhere. Some of us that started our business over 20 to 30 years ago are today at par with any multinational anywhere in the world. But, it takes time to build the right capacity’’.


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