Uche Usim, Abuja
To underline the fact that Nigeria is an investors haven, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has revealed that over 41 billion barrels of crude oil and 319 trillion cubic feet of gas are buried in Sub-Saharan Africa, waiting to be discovered and harnessed.
The NNPC boss added that reliable data have also revealed that the African global crude oil and gas outlook remained positive and on the upward trajectory, saying that the West Africa as the Sub-Region, holds the ace in terms of offshore Deep Water exploration hotspots.
Baru made this disclosure during a special session on Africa, entitled: “Foundations for New Investment,” at the ongoing 19th CERAWeek Conference taking place in Houston, United States Wednesday.
According to him, 1 billion barrels of crude oil deposit was recently made at the Owowo field, offshore Nigeria.
He called on foreign investors to explore the Nigerian Ultra-Deep terrain which he described as largely untested.
The NNPC GMD told his audience that in Nigeria NNPC was currently drilling Kolmani River-II Well in the Benue Trough – one of Nigeria’s several frontier inland Basins with about 400 Bcf of gas expected to be encountered.
The occasion also provided an opportunity for the NNPC GMD to make a case for the domestication of oil and gas technologies within the African continent.
He said: “It is my belief that domesticating these cutting-edge technologies will develop the capacity of our people, improve our economies and emplace our national oil and gas companies on the path of sustainable growth and development.”
According to the GMD, African countries must react positively to the new reality by deploying new policies and stabilize their business environment to attract meaningful investments.
He said critical to achieving that for Nigeria was the passage of the four components of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which is expected to usher in a new legislation that will not only enhance the investment climate in the country, but also change the fortunes of the nation’s oil and gas business for the better.
Baru informed delegates at the conference that the NNPC was opening up its business environment to ensure transparency and accountability in its dealing with all stakeholders.
He also lauded the Federal government for its peace initiatives in the Niger Delta communities which he said had seen the country hitting very high oil and gas production figures in recent years.
Ministers and high-level energy executives from Mali, Somalia, Namibia, and Uganda were among panelists at the special session.
Organised by IHS Markit, CERAWeek is a global platform on energy trends and public policy where over 4,000 oil and gas experts convene annually to debate the future of oil, natural gas, renewable energy, power, and new technologies.