By Adewale Sanyaolu
For Nigeria to increase its daily crude oil production to four million barrels per day (bpd) and gas production to 10 billion cubic feet, the country would require about $28b billion worth of investment, Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, Mr. Saka Matemilola has said.
Matemiloa stated this at a media briefing on the forthcoming Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF 2017) with the theme “Domestic Gas Utilisation in Nigeria: from Producers to Users”, held in Lagos, yesterday.
He explained that, given the pressing attention to address the issue of infrastructure deficit in other critical areas of the economy, government would be unable to commit such huge resources to one sector alone.
In this regard, he said such investments could only come from the private sector if the government was willing to give incentries to investors in order to attract investment into the oil and gas sector.
The SPE boss explained that such investment would be able to create jobs, grow the real sector through the production of adequate gas to fire power plants, which would in turn generate sufficient electricity to support large and medium scale industries. He equally disclosed that such investment will help government to increase its earnings from oil and gas exports proceeds, which will help increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He maintained that the country’s aspiration to grow its oil and gas sector cannot be achieved through policies that targets short term gains or rent seeking policies, saying such ideology was not sustainable to lift the country out of the doldrums.
Matemilola, who is also the Chief Petroleum Engineer at First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited, regretted that government seems to be at crossroads as to what it intends to do with the gas policy.
OLEF is an annual lecture organised by SPE Nigeria Council to commemorate the first oil-well drilled in Nigeria by Shell Darcy at Oloibiri, in Ogbia, Bayelsa State, in 1956.
The annual lecture, since its inception in June 1991, has focused on contributing to oil and gas policy development in Nigeria and ultimately for Sub-Saharan Africa, attracting participation from the government, regulatory agencies, heads of industry practitioners at all levels, as well as other key stakeholders from and within Africa.