Petroleum Industry Act, Gas Initiatives Will Transform Nigeria’s Energy Sector – Osinbajo

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, and Nigeria’s gas initiatives, will transform the nation into a gas-based industrialized country. 

He explained that they will create a better-managed petroleum industry with more value addition for both investors and Nigerians alike.

According to a communique by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Professor Osinbajo stated this on Monday during a virtual event to mark the 25th anniversary of Sahara (Energy) Group.

Prof. Osinbajo said, “the main goal of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the gas initiatives aforementioned is to transform Nigeria not only into a gas-based industrialized nation through enhanced accelerated gas revolution, but also to help create a better-managed petroleum industry where both the people of Nigeria and investors alike can extract value”.

“Locally, we launch into the brave new world for the oil and gas industry with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021,” he added.

“And this happily converges with the launch of the Year 2020 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria’. This is a follow-up to the highly successful initiative of the Year 2020 as the Year of Gas”.

He explained that the next 25 years will be defining for the energy industry.

The Vice President, again reiterated the need for a just transition to zero-emission, and more advocacy to stop the defunding of gas and fossil fuel projects in developing countries

According to him, “the wealthier nations and their institutions have banned all public investments in certain fossil projects, including natural gas. Examples include the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark, as well as specific institutions such as the Swedfund from Sweden, Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, the largest in the world, CDC, the development finance institution from the UK, the European Investment Bank, and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries from Denmark.

“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by their shareholders to do the same. The AfDB is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of shareholder pressure from their European members.

“Barely two weeks ago, the UN Secretary-General made a strong call, that ‘Countries should end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy.'”

The VP said that the Federal Government is partnering with affected countries, but urged “indigenous energy companies such as yourselves [Sahara Group] to join in the urgent advocacy that is required to prevent the disaster that would result from defunding oil and gas projects”.


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Showing Capacity

Prof. Osinbajo noted that the last two decades have brought significant growth to the country’s oil firms “from the days when Nigerian companies were mainly invested in the downstream sector to a situation now where we have Nigerian companies in the downstream, midstream and the upstream”.

“Nigerian companies have shown capacity in operations and financing of oil and gas assets. Within this group of patriotic local investors, Sahara has consistently blazed the trail as industry leaders in not just the Petroleum sector, but in the Power sector as well,” he added.

While commending Sahara Group for being “a great ambassador for the Nigerian entrepreneurial brand”, the VP noted that the group has demonstrated “bold, innovative, knowledge-driven business models that are designed to seize opportunities in other countries and have done so with remarkable success in many African countries”.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law last week, and has also approved a steering committee to oversee the process of implementation of the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Also, the gas initiatives of the Federal Government include the drive to encourage investments in gas production and optimize the nation’s enormous gas potential. 

In addition, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is being developed into an alternative automobile fuel to give Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and additional fuel. This is expected to reduce the ecological and economic costs of energy.

There is also the Gas Master Plan which provides for investment in the necessary infrastructure for gas transportation across the nation. 

Experts believe these will help reduce local crude oil dependency, whilst strengthening the drive for cleaner sources of energy as a nation.

In November, the National Gas Expansion Programme was launched. It focuses on the distribution of Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas across gas stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

 

5th Africa CEO Forum To Kickoff March 20 In Geneva

5th Africa CEO Forum To Kickoff March 20 In GenevaHaving cemented its status as the foremost business personalities meeting dedicated to the development of the African private sector, the Africa CEO Forum is set to kick off its 5th edition, themed: “re-thinking Africa’s business model”.

The 2017 edition, set to take place in Geneva, would focus on how to succeed in this new economic cycle on the continent.

Slated to hold between March 20 and 21, the programme would bring together more than 1000 personalities, key decision makers in industry, finance and politics from the African continent and around the globe.

The Africa CEO forum 2017 would open the debate with the economic boom of the 2000s, the context of economic growth in Africa and the critical decisions that must be taken to reach rapid and sustainable growth.

Other themes to be discussed include: Unleashing innovation and the entrepreneurial potential of youth and women, making Africa more attractive for international investors, turning African stock exchanges into competitive powerhouses and creating the next generation of African exporters.

Find out more about the programme

The forum would also offer 20 sessions for debate and reflection, allowing participants to hit strategic topics for driving African corporate growth including: digital transformation, fintech, agri-business, private equity, emerging African champions, electricity and innovation.

Some of the African and international personalities slated to take part in the discussion and debate include:

President, African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, CEO Unilever, Paul Polman, President, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, CEO, OTMT Investments, Naguib Sawiris, Chairperson, MTN, Phuthuma Nhleko, Co-Founder and Group Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, CEO, United Capital, Oluwatoyin Sanni, Chairperson, Firstbank, Ibukun Awosika, CEO, Mohammed Enterprises, Mohammed Dewji, CEO, Africa and Middle East, Orange, Bruno Mettling, CEO, MSC, Diego Aponte, CEO, Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, CEO, Rougier, Marie-Yvonne Charlemagne, CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Sola David-Borha, CEO, Uchumi Supermarkets, Julius Kipng’etich, CEO, Cevital, Issad Rebrab, CEO, Casablanca Finance City Authority, Saïd Ibrahimi, CEO, NSIA, Jean Kacou Diagou.

For more information, visit the African CEO Forum website.

Sahara group pumps first oil, expands trade east

Nigeria-based energy firm Sahara Group has started pumping its first crude oil and plans to expand trading activities in the Middle East and Asia, the chief executive of its trading division said, as the centre of world oil demand shifts east.

Privately owned Sahara, which had a turnover of $8 billion in 2011, is along with Swiss-based traders Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore, one of the main independent exporters from Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, via term contracts with state oil firm NNPC.

Already present in the African fuel distribution and power sector, Sahara this year started pumping its first oil.

“We are currently focused in fully developing one onshore block (OPL274), where we believe to get soon a peak production of minimum 25,000 barrels per day,” said Fortunato Constantino in an interview.

The firm also has stakes in several offshore Nigerian oil blocks, including OL284 and OL286.

Sahara also expects to become a producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the next few years through Nigeria’s long-delayed Brass LNG project, alongside shareholders Eni and Total.

“The plan of the shareholders is to take a final investment decision by the end of the year. We participate with a 2 percent stake and are willing to market a significant part of the 10 million tonne per annum plant production,” he said.

EASTERN PROMISE

Sahara Group is known by rival traders for its ‘crude for product swaps’ with Nigeria. It buys crude from the state oil firm, processes it at regional refineries such as in Ivory Coast and then sells the products back to Africa’s most populous nation.

Constantino, who joined Sahara from OMV in 2010, told Reuters the next strategic step would be to source crude from beyond West Africa and gain better access to sour barrels, which are expected to account for a large portion of future Asian demand.

“The strategy is to balance our portfolio between West Africa and other regions to leverage our offer and possibly play the arbitrage. We want to be ready to benefit from more east/west arbitrage future windows,” he said.

Tough environmental rules in Europe and growing competition from cleaner fuels such as natural gas have crushed European oil refining margins, driving investors towards new plants in emerging markets including India and China.

“We are looking at establishing new positions in North Africa, Middle East and the Far East, to redistribute our oil supply portfolio by offering a wider range of grades,” Constantino said.

Sahara has recently started trading Libyan and Iraqi spot oil cargoes and is interested in signing a processing agreement with a refinery in the Middle East or the Far East, he added, without giving specifics.

The firm opened a trading office in Dubai in late 2011 and has two traders based there, he said.

REUTERS