Stakeholders under the auspices of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists have cited the need for reforms in order to attract the investments needed to increase the reserve base.
The Federal Government in 2010 set the target of 40 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and a production of four million barrels per day by 2020.
According to the Department of Petroleum Resources, the nation’s oil reserves stood at 36.971 billion barrels as of the end of 2017.
The President, NAPE, Dr Andrew Ejayeriese, at the ongoing annual conference and exhibition of the association in Lagossaid that “Having favourable operational policies is an important ingredient that attracts investors and creates the enabling business environment for any country”.
According to him, in Mexico investors had successfully proffer acreage and established their presence due to the country’s energy reforms.
Ejayeriese made it known that companies which includes the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Australia’s BHP, France’s Total, America’s Chevron and ExxonMobil and Japan’s Inpex are taking advantage of the new reforms.
He said, “In the same token, a lot more of our indigenous and foreign firms would emerge or grow bigger with the right petroleum policy reform in place. All of us have heard of the non-assent to the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, a governance segment of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill.
“It is important to state that the current state of the Nigerian oil and gas industry will likely remain the way it is for a long time to come unless there are reforms that will make it globally competitive and in line with current business practices, in addition to taking advantage of the advances in technology.”
The NAPE president added, “The dream of Nigeria increasing its reserve base will continue to remain a mirage without reforms. One thing is certain: the world will not wait for us.”
According to him, the country is saddled with the duty of contributing its quota to the world’s energy irrespective of the global oil price or local economy.
He said, “Research into the global energy landscape up to the year 2040 has projected that the world’s demand for power will continue to grow; electricity demand will grow twice as fast as that for transportation; fossil fuel will dominate the energy use and energy-related greenhouse emissions will rise by 14 per cent in the next 20 years.
“For us in Nigeria, crude oil will continue to remain the largest contributor to our energy demand, while other petroleum products will continue to be of significant use in the manufacture of plastics, electronics and other industries and household items.”