Nigeria and other developing oil-producing nations have continued their efforts to discover more hydrocarbons, despite the global campaign against fossil fuels, especially as the world races against net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Despite the move led by the United States, which is pressuring other developed countries to ramp up their search for renewable and cleaner-burning fuels, resource-dependent countries like Nigeria are devoting more funding for its exploration for the commodity.
Apart from Nigeria, other countries like Brazil, Ghana, Guyana, and Suriname, at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, United States, laid out agenda for massive oil and gas discoveries that could reshape their economies, if they can get them to market before values erode.
While this year’s Houston conference showcased cleaner fuels and the urgency of emissions reduction, accentuating low-carbon tech, offshore wind, and clean-burning hydrogen, Nigeria has insisted that it will continue to take full advantage of its hydrocarbons as the country’s energy needs and the developed world’s sharply contrast.
Nigeria is currently deploying 30 per cent of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) profit oil and gas to prospecting for oil and gas in the frontier basins as the federal government recently said it won’t allow the country’s barrels to waste.
The country is proposing this investment although the much-talked energy transition is gaining momentum.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, while responding to the global pressure, had noted that Nigeria does not have enough resources to join the race to renewable energy any time soon.
“We are not really in the race to renewables as a country and even as a continent, we are not very much in the race to renewable. Let’s look at where we have our comparative advantage.
“Our comparative advantage today as far as energy is concerned is the area of oil and gas. “We have a lot of gas in this territory, unfortunately, we have not focused on gas, and gas is considered to be a cleaner fuel.
“Some people have begun to discuss gas not as a transition fuel, but as a destination fuel. So, it is also considered a renewable fuel. “What we are doing in PIB is to move the focus from oil to gas,” he posited.
He maintained that the international community cannot ‘pigeon-hole’ Nigeria into an area that it doesn’t have much strength, stressing that as a country, Nigeria will concentrate on gas production.
Speaking at the Houston conference, Ghana Energy Minister, Matthew Prempeh, noted that Africa was impoverished in terms of energy supply, explaining that the continent couldn’t abandon its resources, according to a report by Reuters.
“We have millions of people without electricity in Africa. Energy transition does not mean we’ll see our resources unexploited,” he stated.
Festus Akanbi, Kunle Aderinokun, Nume Ekeghe in Lagos, and James Emejo in Abuja