The Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has stated that the cost of renewable energy might hamper Nigeria and other countries on the continent with limited economic resources and adoption of clean energy.
Kyari stated this at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists’ (NAPE’s) 41st yearly international conference and exhibition, themed: “Repositioning the oil and gas industry for future energy dynamics” in Lagos.
The NNPCL boss, who was represented by the Executive Vice president (EVP), Upstream NNPCL, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, explained that a huge energy space that is clean and not affordable cannot be sustainable considering Nigeria’s energy poverty, warning that if not addressed, would impede the adoption of clean energy in Nigeria.
“Cost is therefore another limitation of renewable energy and the financial barrier, saying that if not addressed, it would impede the adoption of clean energy, especially in this part of the world with very limited economic resources.”
Acknowledging the role of renewables in mitigating the adverse effect of climate change and reducing dependency on finite resources, Kyari added that the technologies of renewables are still struggling with many limitations that are yet to be addressed, listing some of the challenges to include intermittency, reliability and predictability due to geological constraints and limited control of man and nature.
Kyari added: “While battery storage technology has addressed some of the intermittency challenges of renewable energy, the storage technology itself has challenges.”
He stated that the petroleum industry, which has fuelled the progress of mankind for over a century, is also confronted with its own inherent challenges and constraints associated with its continued production and usage.
He noted that fossil fuel continues to be a finite resource of energy. which means that the world’s reliance on it is unsustainable, bemoaning that the process of extraction and consumption of fossil fuels continue to leave a significant adverse carbon footprint on the environment especially if not done responsibly.
“As explorationists, we play a vital role in shaping the future of the oil industry. It is through your dedication, expertise and relentless pursuit of knowledge that will continue to unlock new frontiers, discover reserves and push the boundaries of what is technologically and economically feasible,” he averred.
He expressed concerns that the struggles for control over oil reserves continue to drive conflicts and geopolitical tensions putting global stability at risk.
He predicted that the world’s energy needs would continue to increase, saying that not one energy source alone can meet all the energy demands of mankind.
He also projected that the priorities of customers would also continue to vary depending on energy requirements geographically, technology, purchasing power, pricing systems, government policies and various other dynamics.
“The future will belong to companies that recognise this reality and position themselves to develop a balanced complementary energy portfolio that leverages innovation and technology to harness the strength of various energy sources and tailor them to meet the requirements of an ever-changing demand,” he stressed.
He added that innovation and emerging technologies would drive unprecedented advancement in the energy sector from digitisation and artificial intelligence to robotics, data analytics, noting that these technologies are reshaping how the world explores, produces and manages its resources.
“Effective portfolio management will always be essential in navigating the complexities of the evolving energy landscape. We must be challenged in adapting our portfolio to realign with market trends, regulatory changes and evolving customer preferences,” he averred.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, pointed out the theme of this year’s conference is very appropriate as the world stands as a key point where adequate considerations must be made to address the energy trilemma which is achieving an appropriate balance between energy security, sustainability and affordability.
He stated that the role of petroleum explorationist is quite important, pointing out that their discoveries and evaluation are essential in establishing reliability and sustainability of size of oil and gas reserves as a key component of energy mix.
In his words, “The oil and gas industry has been a key pillar of global energy as it has powered and continued to power industrial and economic development across the world. I understand that we have about 208 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves and about 600 TCF of unproven reserves. I hope we will put some effort in firming up the recoverable volumes on these unproven reserves.”
He stated the need to develop the proven reserves considering that gas is no longer a transition fuel, but a destination fuel.
He said NCDMB remains ready to provide the necessary support to realise the gas business agenda of the Tinubu-led administration
He, however, expressed his excitement over the level of progress made so far with the NLNG Train 7 project, which he said is scheduled for completion in 2026.
He called on the urgent need to pay close attention to Nigeria’s 37 billion oil reserves, saying that various efforts aimed at revamping the nation’s refineries and commissioning of green field refineries have begun to see the light of day, but would be a sad outcome if the nation stops the importation of refined petroleum products only to replace it with importation of crude oil in the nation’s local refineries.
Delivering his keynote, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AMNI, said for Nigeria to grow its economy and to lift millions out of poverty, there must be renewed and intentional focus on repositioning its oil and gas industry in order to take advantage of the future demand.
Represented by the Group Managing Director, AMNI, Wake Olafisan, he highlighted steps Nigeria must follow to reposition Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to include security and stability, saying that addressing the issues of theft, vandalism and sabotage requires coordinated efforts from both the government, community, security agencies and industry collaboration.
He called for security measures to be strengthened to safeguard infrastructure, people, community and investments while also stating the need to improve the fiscal competitiveness and the regulatory ease of doing business as the nation competes for local and foreign investments.
He added that Nigeria must strategically diversify its energy portfolio mix to address the challenge of carbon emission while also providing sustainable and affordable energy to grow its economy, advising that investing in gas development projects and renewable sources would pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient energy future.
On her part, the Managing Director, SNEPCO, Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said Nigeria, as a country is vulnerable because of its dependency on fossil fuel for economic growth and low oil resource resilience. She said 50 per cent of projected oil production is at risk in the event of Nigeria’s rapidly growing demography.
“With our population projected to double by 2050, it means that we are going to be creating more demand for the already lean resources we have if we do not do something about it,” she warned.
She stated that Nigeria has a huge energy gap despite its huge reserves, urging the urgent need to close the gap.
She added that renewables play a key role for Nigeria to meet its carbon neutrality target by 2060, adding the need to embrace technology in the nation’s quest for oil and gas exploration.