The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that irrespective of seeming opposition against its continued use, crude oil and gas would continue to remain relevant well into the future.
In his goodwill address at the ongoing 45th edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council (SPENC) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), Director and Chief Executive of the DPR, Engineer Sarki Auwalu, who allayed concerns over the future of crude oil globally, stated that the continued relevance of the resource would be due to a number of factors.
He described these factors as availability, accessibility, affordability, reliability, and efficiency, adding that this character of petroleum gives it a degree of comparative advantage over emerging energy alternatives for secured and stable energy supply.
He argued that the current apathy towards crude oil is not driven by technical and economic considerations alone.
According to him, the ongoing narratives of the relative significance of each energy type and the clamour of ‘end of oil era’ is not informed by technical and economic considerations alone but by global geopolitics and the vagaries of neo-colonialism as well.
He said: “I would like to sum up the future of energy in these words: ‘for the foreseeable future, we would continue to see a mix of all energy sources – coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables – in the supply equation. Whereas renewable sources will make steady in-roads in the global mix, oil and gas will be relevant in decades to come’.
“This conclusion is informed by the outcomes of market analysis and forecasts based on demand-supply equilibrium, socio-economic fundamentals, climate change and environmental considerations as well as technology and innovation that is shaping the dynamics of global outlook.
“However, we would not delude ourselves that change is not happening; we must continually re-invent the industry and find ways to improve the environmental credentials of oil and gas by deploying technologies for carbon reduction and management to maintain its acceptability as fuel.”
He insisted that Africa, other oil-producing countries and members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, must be key stakeholders in global energy discourse and ensure their voices and views are well articulated in discussions about the future of oil and gas.
“Indeed, as Africans, it must take its destiny in its hand and rewrite history, by leveraging abundant human and natural resources which nature has bequeathed on this great continent to create wealth for its people, eliminate poverty, improve social-economic conditions while driving value for the globe. Only Africa can grow Africa,” he noted.
On its part, Auwalu disclosed that Nigeria had risen to the occasion, and had started using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development in the face of challenges posed by energy transition and global dynamics.
Specifically, he explained that the DPR is fostering innovative ideas and creating opportunities for investments and sustainability in the petroleum industry.