By Udeme Akpan
Despite the global call for energy transition from fossil fuel to cleaner resources, there are indications that oil and gas will remain relevant in Nigeria and other countries for a much longer time.
Many experts have already predicted that shifting to clean energy resources, including solar and wind, will significantly reduce the demand for oil and gas, as well as the revenues of producing and exporting nations.
But experts from the academia and industry, who gathered at the just concluded 10th Legacy Lecture Series of Dr Emmanuel Egbogah, organized by the Emmanuel Egbogah Foundation, EEF, which took place at the Emerald Energy Institute, EEI, auditorium, at the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, and had ‘Global Energy Transition: Implications on and Opportunities for Petroleum Dependent Economies’ as its theme, weekend, noted that oil and gas will continue to be relevant.
Specifically speaking on ‘Energy Transition: Dreams or Reality’, Dr. Anas Alhajji, Energy Outlook Advisor, LLC, United Kingdom, stated: “We need all energy sources. Global oil demand will continue to grow.
“It is easy to separate oil from water, but impossible to separate oil (energy) from politics. Energy is a political football. When politics and markets collide, expect a crisis.”
Dr Alhajji, who did not think solar and wind will replace oil and gas in Europe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, India and China, also said: “Dependence of most Industrial and emerging economies on fossil fuel remains high.
“The impact of climate change policies on oil demand is highly exaggerated. The impact is mostly on demand growth, not on demand itself.
“African countries can reduce their carbon footprint by focusing on energy efficiency and the low hanging fruits, save oil & gas for exports or value-added industries and place solar and wind projects strategically.”
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Also speaking, lead promoter, EnergyHub Nigeria, Dr Felix Amieyeofori, said: “It is very unlikely that fossil fuel will go away.
“Demand for oil is still increasing. I do not see the demand for oil, coal and others disappearing.
“The world will still depend on oil and gas. I cannot see the United States, China and India complying overnight.
“But we should not ignore the fact that there is serious pressure on us to shift to clean energy. Africa should come together to decide on what to do.
“We can decide to produce more oil and gas, while embarking on research and development required for the energy transition.”
The Managing Director, Newcross Petroleum Limited, Victor Sodje, who urged operators in the oil and gas industry to guide against environmental pollution while producing oil and gas, said: “We need to do our businesses differently. We need to capture the carbon and keep our environment protected.”
The former Vice Chancellor and current Emmanuel Egbogah Chair in Engineering, UNIPORT, Professor Joseph Ajienka, said: “It is important that on this occasion we pay tribute to Dr Egbogah. Celebrating one of the principal architects of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which has just been passed by Act of Parliament and accented by President Mohammadu Buhari, after 20 years of cautious legislative rigmarole.”
The Acting Director of EEI, Dr Chijioke Nwaozuzu, said Dr Egbogah impacted the oil industry positively, adding: “Those of us who considered him as a mentor have greatly benefited from his generosity, kindness and opulence.”
Similarly, the Executive Director of EEF, Professor Wumi Iledare, said the Foundation was created to remember the legacies and good works he had done for the petroleum industry.
The former director of EEI expressed appreciation to sponsors of EEF for their continued kind and in-cash support to keep the legacy lecture alive, adding that those involved in project management have held forth tenaciously over the years.
The lecture was attended by the Deputy Vice chancellor, Research and Development, representing the Vice chancellor of UNIPORT, former Vice Chancellor and current Emmanuel Egbogah Chair in Engineering, UNIPORT, Professor Joseph Ajienka; Ghana National Petroleum Company, GNPC, Chair of Petroleum Economics and Management, Cape Coast University, and Executive Director of EEF, Professor Wumi Iledare; Professor Michael Onyekonwu; Managing Consultant for Laser Engineering, Dr. Emeka Egbogah, and Chairman of EEF, Acting Director, EEI, Dr Chijioke Nwaozuzu, among other dignitaries in the industry and academia.