BY YEMIE ADEOYE
FOLLOWING a strategic partnership between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Addax Petroleum and Maersk Oil geared at growing the crude oil production of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the company, a subsidiary of the NNPC is set to grow its daily oil output from its current 70,000 barrels per day to an ambitious 250,000 barrels per day by 2015.
The three companies made the commitment when the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Austen Oniwon, received high power delegations of Addax Petroleum led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yi Zang and Mr. Jon Ferrier, Senior Vice President, Business Development of Maersk Oil in Abuja recently.
Speaking with delegations of the two companies at separate sessions, Oniwon noted that NNPC would want to collaborate with Addax Petroleum and Maersk Oil to grow NPDC, an Exploration and Production arm of the Corporation, to a level that befits its status as a strategic Business Unit of a National Oil Company.
He commended Addax for collaborating with NNPC to ensure an efficient distribution and supply of petroleum products in the Calabar area of the country adding that the Corporation was also satisfied with the company’s production profile in the country.
Oniwon also lauded the Health, Safety and Environment policy of Addax Petroleum, saying that NNPC’s partnership with the company so far has been mutually beneficial.
The GMD told the two visiting Company executives and their entourage that Gas-to-Power has become a very important project to the nation in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration to grow the power sector from the present 4,000 mw to 40,000 mw by 2020 and urged them to work hand-in-hand with the Corporation to achieve government objective in the power sector.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly, the NNPC GMD observed that the fundamental objective of the bill was to ensure transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He said: “I want you to note that no responsible country will enact a law that will destroy its own national economy. The PIB will consolidate existing sixteen laws into one omnibus legislation to make doing business in Nigeria very attractive.”
The NNPC GMD observed that the Corporation would sustain the harmonious business relationship with China through Addax and Sinopec considering the strategic importance of China’s economy to global economy, saying that Nigeria is on its path to joining the world’s most developed economies by 2020.
“The economy of Nigeria rallies around the hydrocarbon industry and that of China also rallies around energy and therefore there is a lot of synergies between the two economies,” the GMD posited.
Speaking with Maersk delegation, Oniwon said that plans are already underway to build three greenfield refineries in the country but called for more investments in the area of refineries saying that the Federal Government will support export of value added products to create more job opportunities for Nigerians.
He disclosed that there are lots of gas resources that are yet to be harnessed urging investors in the country to consider investing in gas development.
“We have plans to build 2 petrochemical plants and 4 fertilizer plants in the country and we hope that this visit by Maersk Conglomerate will mark the beginning of a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship between the two companies,” He added.
Responding at the meeting with the Addax Petroleum delegation, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yi Zang expressed his company’s readiness to partner with the NNPC to grow the NPDC towards achieving its 2015 business target.
Mr. Zang added that despite the reservations being expressed by some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry in respect of the PIB, Addax Petroleum has not halted its investment profile in Nigeria. “We are optimistic that the PIB will strengthen our partnership with NNPC and we have a lot of common ground in the past and in the future,” Mr.Zang revealed.