BY DAYO OKETOLA
The Society of Petroleum Engineers is mobilising stakeholders against crude oil theft, which has become a major challenge to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
SPE said this had become imperative in the face of depleting reserves and dwindling revenues from crude oil sales in the country.
In view of this, SPE Nigeria Council Chairman, Mr. Osayande Igiehon, said in a recent chat with newsmen that stakeholders would gather at the 2013 exploration conference in Lagos to find lasting solution to the menace.
According to Igiehon, finding a lasting solution to oil theft has become essential because Nigeria is a mono-economy which relies heavily on crude oil exportation. He explained that crude oil sale was not just the mainstay of the economy but the source of about 95 per cent foreign exchange earnings for the nation.
The conference, according to him, aims to provide a robust platform to help governments, industry and academia position for the aspired production growth which will be crucial to achieving needed economic growth in Africa and meeting the world‚Äôs growing energy needs.
Igiehon¬† said, ‚ÄúAs exploration of crude oil never ceases, there is need for further discoveries of more reserves to replenish those already extracted from oil wells. From inception of oil discoveries in Nigeria, you would have observed that after much exploration from a well, it is abandoned for other oil wells when that one becomes less economical to operate.
‚ÄúSo, the challenge of inventing new technologies to aid new crude oil discoveries and to reduce cost of operation would be discussed. More so, incessant crude oil theft in the region and possible lasting remedies would also be discussed because of the spate of crude oil theft in the region.‚Äù
According to him, participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry has increased dramatically since the enforcement of Nigeria Content Act and ‚Äúfurther possibilities of giving more opportunities to indigenous operators would also be discussed at the conference.‚Äù
The theme of the conference which is¬† ‚ÄòTo grow Africa‚Äôs oil and gas production: Required policy, funding, technology, techniques and capabilities‚Äô, according to him, is carefully chosen having observed that crude oil reserves in the region has continued to nosedived.