The experts spoke as panellists at the ongoing Nigerian Petroleum Summit in Abuja, with the theme, ‘From Crisis to Opportunity, a New Approach to Hydrocarbon.’
The panellists, in their respective submissions, said the Federal Government’s continued reliance on fossil energy must be driven by technology and innovation to lessen carbon emission and sustain its relevance in the near future.
“Let’s be clear again on energy transition. Oil and gas will still be relevant in the next 50 years. However, the fraction will be reducing. The focus should be that we must lessen carbon emission through the use of technology, which is the bigger focus of energy transition geared towards lessening carbon emission in the environment,” Former Head of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Osten Olorunshola said at the panel on Tuesday.
He stressed that the Federal Government must make the best use of hydrocarbon energy before it went into extinction.
“Let’s get it clear, the discussion on energy transition is the race to carbon emission reduction. Hence, we must make the best from our fossil energy,” he said.
General Manager of Citadel Group and an oil and gas expert Nicholas Odunuwe said he had been looking at what would make his company remain relevant following the digital transformation in the oil sector.
“We have been looking at what will ensure our relevance, given global energy transition. We have been employing the usage of big data, robotics and digital oil fields. We have been understudying some of the technologies we see at the Oil and Gas Technology Conference in the United States and have been working on domesticating them to advance our operations technologically.”
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Simbi Wabote, at the event, said government had put its feet on research and development with a $50milion funding war chest.
Wabote stressed that many countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) entered negative territory during the early days of the pandemic, prompting lots of innovations and protectionist strategies to drive their own economies.
Wabote insisted that despite the energy transition drive, some countries would not do without hydrocarbon at some point, stressing that Nigeria must employ innovation and technology to sustain relevance in fossil fuel.
“I expect complete technological innovation to drive our oil sector such as smart oil fields, smart platforms and remote operator capabilities to become the norm in the industry,” he said, noting that the agency under his control was committed to that innovation drive.
He pointed out that COVID-19 had already put everyone on the path of technology, insisting that Nigeria’s oil and gas sector must sustain relevance with these technologies.