The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that it remained shameful that Nigeria is a net importer of petroleum products.
He stated this at the 2019 Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), which opened in Lagos yesterday with the theme ‘‘Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mobile Technology: Changing the Future of the Energy Industry’’.
He, however, promised to fix the country’s refining challenges, adding that NNPC was challenged by the reality of its environment as the refineries were not operating optimally.
“And as for professionals, we can give any excuses. But today, it’s a shame that this country is net importer of petroleum, but we are going to change that.
NNPC is going to get its house together to fix the refineries. We want to make the refineries functional with at least 90 per cent capacity.
Meanwhile, Kyari, said NNPC was considering third party and equity financing option for the rehabilitation of the refineries.
He said the corporation is all out to ensure that the refineries come on stream with at least 30 per cent capacity utilisation.
He said others who have such initiatives to put in place new refineries would be assisted by way of providing them all governmental support to ensure that their dream comes true.
On the conference theme, the NNPC boss said the emergence of artificial intelligence, no doubt, has altered the dynamics of operations by providing quicker processes and interventions in the conduct of petroleum operations.
This, he said, also is on the back of big data that provides the platform for an effective artificial intelligence (AI) system.
According to him, the combination of AI and big data are complemented further by mobile technology that enables real time access to information and the execution of apparently complicated operation from remote locations.
He maintained that, the industry is beleaguered by other issues that are not necessarily technology-driven, adding that issues associated with fiscal regime would have to be addressed in order to accelerate investment across the value chain.
‘‘Today, despite the opportunities that exist, investment decisions in oil and gas projects in Nigeria have become increasingly difficult to close out.
This, I believe, is driven by unclear fiscal terms of various production contracts and the delays in the passage of the lingering petroleum legislation’’.
The effect, he said, was for investors to opt for alternative portfolios when making financing decisions, stating that, there was need to collaborate to ensure the timely resolution of contractual issues and the passage of the necessary petroleum legislation.