Nigeria has lost its most valued crude oil customers, while some of its gas buyers now compete with the country in the same market, the Federal Government declared on Thursday.
It also stated that international oil companies were massively shifting focus to alternative fuels, as the threat posed by the push for renewables was seriously gaining momentum.
The government disclosed this through its Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority at the opening ceremony of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Industry HSE Managers’ Forum in Abuja.
The Chief Executive, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director, Hydrocarbon Processing Plants, Installations and Transportation Infrastructure, Francis Ogaree, urged operators in the oil sector to try and move along with the changes in industry globally.
He said the number of crude oil buyers from Nigeria had been decreasing, stressing that Nigeria must build its oil and gas sector collectively for it to survive the changes in the space.
Ahmed said, “As we speak, some of the big IOCs are funding gigantic research in alternative fuels.
“As sweet as Nigeria’s crude is renowned to be globally, we have recently lost our most valued customers and our gas buyers are themselves now competing with us in the same market place as suppliers.
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“All of these point to one fact; if Nigeria is to continue to benefit from its vast petroleum resources, now more than ever is the time to build sustainably into our oil and gas value chain, as well as management of its waste. And this rests on the shoulders of not only the regulators, but on all stakeholders.”
He noted that the oil and gas industry had for several decades maintained a pride of place at the top of the global energy mix despite the threat posed by renewables and cleaner energy sources.
“However, recent concerns about global warming, exponential improvement in the efficiency of renewable energy alternatives and the policies of oil pricing, have combined to pose almost an existential threat to the global petroleum industry,” he stated.
The NMDPRA boss added, “The threats of renewable energy sources, which in the past were almost dismissed by energy industry experts, have today become more real than ever.
“And I will like to draw your attention to a few of the more recent trends. Three among the biggest technology companies have made attempts at electric cars to replace gasoline and diesel engines.
“While the attempt of Apple may not have made it to production yet, and that of Google was suspended after clearly successful street trials, that of Tesla took the world by surprise.”
Ahmed noted that not only did the first two releases of Tesla out-performed sales forecast, they were also oversubscribed and the demand kept rising, while new models were being added.