Business

Nigeria’s investment prospects in oil, gas high

James Shindi is the Chief Executive of Brevity Anderson, organisers of the annual Nigeria Petroleum International Summit (NIPS). In this interview with reporters, he talks about the investment prospects Nigeria has in the oil and gas industry and NIPS 2019, among others, EMEKA UGWUANYI was there.

How attractive is Nigeria for oil and gas investment?

If you take into account Nigeria’s condensates production, the daily average production is over 2 million barrels. There is a very realistic capacity to upscale the country’s proven reserves to 40 billion barrels within the next few years, so this market will continue to remain attractive for a long time.

Even if there are no new oil finds, you are looking at another 45 years or so of supply at current rates. However, when you start to look at the huge gas reserves of well over 5 trillion cubic metres, which ranks Nigeria as possessing Africa’s largest gas reserves, the picture looks even better. This surely has to be the investment destination of choice and will continue to be.

What is the Federal Government’s objective for organising the annual international petroleum summit?

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) took the decision to approve the event in its current format with a private sector operator to create an international platform for high-level discussions around the hydrocarbons sector, which helps lead Africa’s response to the current and future challenges in the sector. It is one of the ways Nigeria continues to provide leadership in the sector on the continent.

The event, being the property of the Federal Government, also means that all key government decision makers attend to network, provide answers to burning questions and also, listen to feedback from stakeholders. And with a focus on technology and innovation, the aim is to grow the event into a must attend meeting for unveiling of major technological breakthroughs. We are already starting to see this happen and we at Brevity Anderson feel absolutely delighted to be on this journey with the Federal Government.

What is the main thrust of this NIPS2019?

Issues around oil market stability continue to be on every stakeholder’s front burner. When you speak to both producers and consumers, you soon get the sense that price volatility hurts both sides. This sort of market instability means that investment decisions are either delayed or in some instances scrapped. Since 2014, we have been seeing more and more producers turning exclusively to short-cycle projects, the long-term effect of this will definitely have an impact beyond just oil markets.

Within the context of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Nigeria continues to play a leading role in driving talks to help stabilise the market. I would like to stress here and at the same time, commend the Federal Government for deliberately taking concrete steps as part of a bigger strategy of bringing down production costs while initiating the right policies to attract additional investment.

For example, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, announced a roadmap to attract an additional $10 billion worth of new investment into the sector in Nigeria alone. We are seeing a real shift from just talk to tangible action.

Against this background and the technological advancement (or lack of it in some regard), geo-political activities and other very existing topics, the event creates the perfect platform to engage stakeholders as the event will take place at different levels; Government-to-Government, Business-to-Business and Government-to-Business. Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) 2019 will certainly be the place to be between January 27 and 30, 2019.

‘’We are glad to report to you that we have received significant amount of interest from both local and international players including national delegations from seven countries, headed by top political and economic leaders.

For example, Khalid al-Faliih, the Saudi Energy Minister, during his recent visit to Nigeria, specifically mentioned that Africa and in particular, Nigeria, remains a key partner in forging partnerships and he is looking forward to returning to our great country in 2019 both to the NIPS event and to further deepen the special relationship between both countries.

Amongst other international delegates, the Norwegian State Secretary (Deputy Minister) for International Development Jens Frølich Holte also confirmed his participation at the NIPS 2019.

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