N’East hydrocarbon search: Controversies trail FG’s $340m investment
The death of 48 people, including five lecturers of
These stakeholders are divided in the argument on the continuous search for oil in the
The resumption of oil search in the
The President’s directive came after the Federal Government had burnt a whopping N27 billion and
However, those who are conversant with investments in the sector say the NNPC’s plan to resume exploratory activities in the
Past efforts on
Studies have indicated that the Nigerian end of the
“While there are about 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and about 187 trillion standard cubic feet of gas in the South South of
“If you do the cost benefit analysis, you can see that it is not viable in the short and medium term,” said
Boise, however, insisted that exploration is an expensive activity, adding that one can explore an entire field and might not find anything, stressing that oil has been found in the
Should NNPC be involved?
Having explored the
They argued that it would be economically irrational for the nation’s leadership to commit to financing exploratory activities in the North East with the staggering economic headwinds buffeting the nation.
A retired Geo Scientist from
Edoziem said the NNPC should allow private investors with the needed expertise to take the lead and commit their resources to the oil find.
‘‘What I expect the government to do is to encourage entrepreneurs to move in and take the risk of exploration. Once they get to that stage, it should not be government. And such activity must be backed up with good incentives to encourage exploration companies interested in moving into that region,’’ he said.
He specifically mentioned the inability of the NNPC to manage its upstream assets in the
The petroleum economist explained that committing huge resources for oil search in that region at a time the global oil market is going through difficult times would not be a good investment decision for the country to take.
‘‘I doubt if NNPC has the resources to commit to such cause. Again, this is where the issue of political interference comes in. This is not an issue of politics but business. Directing the NNPC to resume oil search in that region is not good for the corporation. The corporation should run as an independent business en-tity devoid of political interference. They should be able to determine whether to resume oil search or not, and not the government telling them what to do,’’ he warned.
His views were equally supported by the publisher of
Akinosho said the IOCs were not interested to get involved in exploration activities in that region because they prefer to concentrate their energy and resources in deep water operations, having gradually moved out of onshore prospects as a result of attendant security challenges.
The publisher who is also a geologist with several years of working experience with
The search: To be or not to be
Going down memory lane, Edoziem said the country should suspend further deployment of the nation’s resources to the
He said all the past analysis conducted in that region has proved to be economically unviable till date, questioning if the new expeditors brought in new technology that could have surpassed the technology of old or if they are exploring a new section of the
‘‘But if it is the same thing that has been evaluated before that we are spending our money on, then I don’t think it is a good venture right now. Or maybe the government is trying to prove something or it is a deliberate effort to probably score a political point. That is my own personal technology,’’ he said.
On his part, Adenikinju said what the NNPC should do is to complete the seismic programme to actually determine if there is oil in that region, and having done that, share them among IOCs and other interested investors, who may be willing to take the risk having seen the prospect inherent in the re-gion based on the result of the seismic operation.
He equally advised that the NNPC should quickly complete the seismic operations programme and bring the data for experts at NAPE to subject it to analyses and scrutiny.
But Akinosho insisted that the search should continue, charging government to ensure that it ups its ante in the area of intelligence gathering to forestall a re-occurrence of the recent incident where some personnel were killed in their bid to prospect for oil in the
‘‘We are not certainly looking for oil in the
Akinosho said it was a good idea for government to make new dis-coveries through exploration activi-ties because exploration is all about knowledge seeking and not necessarily about discovery of oil because it creates a lead to solving other prob-lems.
He explained that in trying to ex-plore for oil in the
He disclosed that there are sev-eral smaller oil and gas companies operating in
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