Worried by the negative impact of greenhouse gases on the environment, the managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr Osagie Okunbor has tasked Nigerian academia and graduates to build low carbon technologies that will lead Nigeria into the emerging decades where renewable energy takes a more prominent role in the energy mix.
Speaking yesterday in Benin at the 51st Founder’s Day Lecture of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), titled: “The Global Energy Transformation and the Imperative for Nigeria”, Okunbor said that as a global company, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant was approaching green house gas emissions reductions from multiple
Notwithstanding the fact that Nigeria is well positioned to ride the wave of the current energy transition with its abundance of natural fossil fuels and renewable energy, he noted that the country still needs to move with a sense of urgency and a clear sense of direction.
Okunbor listed the angles to among other things include the elimination of routine flaring, which negatively impacts the environment; a shift to natural gas, growing the nation’s gas share to 55% of hydrocarbon production; and a low carbon power through an increase in renewable energy power supply.
Besides, he added that the company is also targeting the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere through Carbon Capture and storage facilities; and re-afforestation and tree planting to take away carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The managing director said that the main green house gases in the atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, adding that carbon dioxide is however the primary greenhouse gas produced when fossil fuels are burnt.
Going by latest estimates from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Okunbor disclosed that Nigeria has around 202 trillion cubic feet of proven gas and around 600 cubic feet of unproven reserves.
He said: “As a company, we are clear that while the energy transition brings risks, it also brings commercial opportunities and enables us to build on our positive contributions to society. Our comprehensive energy transition strategy therefore seeks to reduce those risks while enhancing our ability to profitability lead as the world transition to an energy that is aligned with the goal of the Paris Agreement.”
He added: “Shell companies are very clear on the potential that gas holds to accelerate industrial and economic growth in Nigeria and heavily invested here, across the entire value chain of gas upstream, midstream and downstream.”
In his remark, the chancellor, His Royal Minister, Prof. James Ayatse Tor Tov solicited the cooperation of the university staff with the vice-chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami.