April 20, 2024
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Minister Says IOCs Not Exiting Nigeria, Emphasises Transition to Offshore Investments

Heineken Lokpobiri, the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), offered reassurances regarding the presence of International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria, asserting that they are not divesting from the country but rather transitioning from onshore and shallow waters to offshore operations.

The minister made these remarks during the inaugural session of the seventh Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) 2024, held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Concurrently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) expressed its intent to participate in the proposed African Energy Bank to ensure sustainable funding for energy projects across Africa, thus bolstering energy security.

The bank is slated to commence operations before June 2024, with an initial capital base of US$5 billion and projected gross assets exceeding US$120 billion by 2028.

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NNPCL, as a key partner to all oil-producing companies in Nigeria, assured its role in facilitating, rather than hindering, the divestment process of IOCs from onshore and shallow water assets.

During the summit’s opening ceremony, Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, clarified the company’s stance as a facilitator of national energy security, ensuring optimal and sustainable production from divested assets for the benefit of Nigerians.

He addressed concerns surrounding recent divestments in the oil and gas sector, emphasizing NNPC Ltd.’s commitment to energy security through strategic management of divestment processes.

Kyari further highlighted ongoing efforts to enhance energy infrastructure, citing progress on the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben Pipeline, with tunnelling across the River Niger underway.

He reiterated NNPCL’s dedication to collaborating with stakeholders to address energy deficits and drive prosperity in Nigeria, projecting an end to energy scarcity within the next decade.

The summit, attended by prominent industry and governmental figures including international delegates, witnessed discussions on crucial energy matters.

Lokpobiri’s assertions come amidst a significant decline in investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector over the past five years.

He emphasized the transition of IOCs to offshore operations as a strategic move, enabling indigenous companies to develop capacity within onshore and shallow water segments while IOCs reinvest in deep offshore projects.

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