By Michael Eboh
Managing Director, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, Mike Sangster, Tuesday, disclosed that passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, would spur a new wave of investments by oil and gas companies in the Nigeria petroleum industry.
Speaking at the ongoing Society of Petroleum Engineers’, SPE, Nigeria Energy Industry Transformation Summit, NEITS, Sangster, also stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant challenges, was forcing a number of firms into bankruptcy.
Sangster, however, noted that the PIB should be progressive, clear and create a win-win atmosphere for investors and the country, adding that Total was keen on continuing investing in Nigeria.
He said, “We are keen to continue to invest in Nigeria and to contribute constructively to the ongoing debate about the Petroleum Industry Bill. We welcome the efforts being made by the authorities to define a long-term framework for the oil and gas industry that provides clarity and certainty, but it must also provide attractive terms and a win/win solution for the country and investors in order to entice sufficient capital in an ever more competitive world.
“A progressive, win/win, PIB could be the catalyst needed for a new wave of investment in Nigeria instead of other countries and hence contribute to the sustainability of the oil and gas industry.”
Sangster further stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the fore the urgent need for a re-examination of strategies for sustainability by oil and gas firms among other companies, especially as these corporate organisations had gone beyond lay-offs to declaring bankruptcy and shutting down.
He explained that even before this period of heightened concerns about the post COVID-19 era, firms and countries eager to reduce their carbon footprints had been out with strategies and an evolving energy mix in the shift towards cleaner energy.
According to him, the challenge for companies like Total is to strike the right balance between enabling the energy transition by investing in new energies such as solar and wind power and continuing to provide oil and gas to meet the needs of their customers and society.
He said Total wants to be part of the solution to climate change with a commitment to delivering affordable and clean energy to the population.
According to him, Total had made important investments locally in this area and had implemented several initiatives that were already impacting the Nigerian energy landscape positively.
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He said: “Some of these include the fact that over 1.5 million people in Nigeria have been impacted from sale of 400,000 Total solar lamps since 2013 according to Global Lighting Off-grid Association estimates. Worldwide, 10 million people have been impacted.
“Out of our 577 service stations across the country, more than 77 have been solarized as at the end of January 2020. It is an ongoing programme and our target is to ensure that our stations all become solarized. We have also deployed over 150 residential solar solutions across the country.
“Our investment in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, from the beginning till now, is partly derived from our commitment to the production of cleaner and better energy.
“At the Group level: Total’s ambition is to become the responsible energy major and to get to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
In order to achieve these objectives, Sangster disclosed that Total has identified some key initiatives, such as promoting the use of natural gas, biogas and hydrogen; investing in low carbon electricity, mainly from renewables; and investing in low cost oil and biofuels.
Others, according to him, include investing in carbon sinks that are essential to achieving carbon neutrality, either nature-based solutions or carbon capture and storage.