Dr Rilwanu Lukman, Minister of Petroleum Resources, said in Vienna on Tuesday that OPEC was considering new, cleaner and greener options of developing the hydrocarbon resources in member-states. He said the new approach was a direct response to the demands of green technology in oil and gas development to save the environment from further harm occasioned by the new climate change deal..
Speaking in Vienna Lukman said the organisation was reaching out to and partnering with the major oil multinationals on how best to invest in the oil and gas sector to properly harness the huge resource potentials for the good of the various governments and their citizens. The Minister is in Vienna to attend the 156th Ordinary Ministerial Meeting of OPEC. He said the extensive engagements and cooperation with the oil majors also involved the diversification of energy alternatives, including solar and nuclear options, to reduce green house emissions and save the planet. The minister said there was a need to begin to plan ahead for the future when the hydrocarbons might not be much again .
â€œWe need to develop new ways of producing energy and to continue to meet the energy demand of the world, including gas supply. Gas holds the key to the future,â€™â€™â€ the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent covering the meeting quoted him Lukman as saying. He said Nigeria could not afford not to be an effective member of OPEC â€œbecause it is beneficial to our cause, and we are heavily dependent on oil and gas for the revenue.â€™â€™â€
He said it would be inconceivable for Nigeria to contemplate leaving OPEC for whatever reason, including under-production of the OPEC crude quota as a result of insecurity in the Niger Delta or facility attacks on the pipelines.
Lukman expressed the hope for a speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the National Assembly as it would open greater investments and increased local participation in the sector.