By Yemie Adeoye
LAGOS — EXCEPT the Federal Government urgently creates aggressive policies of hydrocarbon reserves replacement, geologists and other stakeholders in the oil sector have raised an alarm that the nation’s crude oil reserve would be totally depleted in the next 37 years precisely by 2048.
Stakeholders are currently worried that with a production output of 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, Nigeria currently depletes about 1 billion barrels of crude oil annually from its 37.2 billion barrels of hydrocarbon reserves.
This was the position of Mr. Guy Maurice, Managing Director of Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, at the opening of the 29th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, in Lagos, yesterday.
According to him, policies must be put in place for industry to gain a lot of time in the contracting cycle, especially by drastically shortening and reducing the time to access rigs for exploration in the Nigerian waters, “the country should make reserves replacement a priority.
“If we take a critical look at perspectives for growing reserves in the next decade, the answer is exploration, exploration and more explorations to run parallel to development projects, which are also becoming more and more expensive to execute, due to slippages in complex contractual environment, couple with security challenges.”
Several stakeholders and operators in the nation’s oil and gas sector have lamented the highly noticeable absence of the Federal Government, especially the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Austen Oniwon from the opening ceremony.
The conference which had the theme “Perspectives on Growing Hydrocarbon Reserves in the Next Decade” is one of the annual major conferences and exhibition in the oil and gas industry.