The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mele Kolo Yari has expressed hope that Nigeria will stop fuel imports by 2023.
Kyari made this known in Lagos while speaking as a guest of honour at the ongoing 2019 conference and exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Council themed: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mobile Technology, Changing the Future of the Energy Industry.
The NNPC chief said: “Nigeria is still a net importer of petroleum products due to the current state of our refineries and the long absence of private investment in the refining sector.
He added further saying “we require more investment to revamp and expand our domestic refineries and associated infrastructures to support the growth of the downstream sector and guarantee energy security to the nation. We are progressing with the establishment of Condensate refineries to fast-track domestic supply of petroleum products. In the same vein, the Corporation would support the actualisation of the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery, as well as other private initiatives along this line.”
He acknowledged the important role technology plays in driving the growth of the oil and gas industry across the world and the role right environment plays in enhancing the desired growth assuring that he would address all the impediments on the way of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry’s growth to achieve all the aspirations of the government and players.
Speaking on theme, he said “no doubt, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has altered the dynamics of our operations by providing quicker processes and interventions in the conduct of petroleum operations. This also is on the back of big data that provides the platform for an effective AI system. The combination of AI and big data are complemented further by mobile technology that enables real-time access to information and the execution of apparently complicated operation from remote locations.
He also said the nation’s oil industry is beleaguered by other issues that are not necessarily technology-driven such as fiscal regime, adding that it has to be addressed in order to accelerate investment across the value chain.
He highlighted saying that despite the many opportunities that exist in the industry, investment decisions in oil and gas projects in Nigeria have become increasingly difficult to closeout adding that these were driven by unclear fiscal terms of various production contracts and the delays in the passage of the lingering petroleum legislation.
He mentioned that investors often opt for alternative portfolios when making financing decisions calling for collaborations to ensure the timely resolution of contractual issues and the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Conclusively, he said that the NNPC, with its partners, are driving the national aspiration to grow the national reserve to 40billion barrels by 2025 so as to improve crude oil production to three million barrels per day.