…Conference to focus on technology challenges in Nigeria’s oil sector
By Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu
The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has announced that its 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE), which is perhaps the largest gathering of earth scientists and other stakeholders in the oil and gas space in Sub Saharan Africa is set to take place in Lagos.
Tagged “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves: Emerging Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities”, this year’s AICE is slated to hold physically and virtually at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island and the NAPE Secretariat at Lekki, Lagos from 15-19 November 2020.
According to NAPE, the Conference will host speakers who are high level industry practitioners, key personnel in government and the academia, delivering technical papers on seven (7) sub-themes namely:
- Accelerating Nigeria’s Reserves Growth Opportunities
- Novel Concepts and Approaches in Geophysics
- Petroleum System Studies and Integrated Reservoir Modeling
- Emerging Technologies and Current Applications in Exploration and Production
- Energy Mix and Transition
- Health, Safety, Security and Environment
- Talent Management, Capacity Building, and the Next Generation of E & P Leaders
“The Opening Ceremony which holds on Tuesday 17th November 2020 will have the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as the Special Guest of Honour. The Keynote paper titled, The Future of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry 2021-2025, will be delivered by Chief Tunde Afolabi, MFR, FNAPE, Chairman/ CEO of Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited.”
The Association in a press statement said Oil and gas will continue to be fuels of choice for the foreseeable future and conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons are likely to remain the main component of the energy mix needed to meet the growing global energy demand in the next five decades. In the coming period, technological innovations will be critical not only in ensuring the supply of affordable hydrocarbons, but in mitigating the environmental impact of hydrocarbon exploration, production and utilization.”
“Nigeria is at risk of long-term disruption to oil and gas supplies, power generation, a collapse of industries and significant loss of revenue due to continued reduction in hydrocarbon exploration activities. Reduction in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation has dire consequences for a country like Nigeria with a mono-economy hinged on crude oil.”
NAPE’s President, Alex Tarka, (FNAPE) while briefing the media on the lineup of events, said this year’s conference will focus on technology challenges in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. He stressed that technology is the heart of all the significant achievements in the oil and gas industry, adding that the conference would deliberate on the petroleum business and the regulatory environment with a view to addressing the challenges of exploration and production in the onshore, offshore and Nigeria’s frontier basins, as well as government and regulatory agencies’ support and funding, cash call exit and incentives , new fiscal regimes, PIB, NIPEX operations, licensing rounds, refining capacity mid-stream infrastructure and the domestic gas market.
“The way hydrocarbon is discovered, developed, and produced, has been impacted by evolutionary technologies that have emerged since the Drake well of 1859. But the challenge is how far Nigeria has travelled down the technology road.”
“It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) will at its 38th Annual International Conference & Exhibition be deliberating on the petroleum business and the regulatory environment with a view to addressing the challenges of exploration and production in the onshore, offshore and Nigeria’s frontier basins, as well as government and regulatory agencies’ support and funding, Cash Call Exit and incentives , new fiscal regimes, PIB, NIPEX operations, Licensing rounds, refining capacity mid-stream infrastructure and the domestic gas market.”
“The Conference will also be beaming its searchlight on new technology application in exploration and production using big data, digitalization, data analytics, artificial intelligence opportunities, etc. Participants at the Conference will also be discussing the impact of renewable and unconventional energy resources in the oil and gas industry as well grooming the next generation of E&P professionals.”
On growing the domestic gas market in line with the Minister for State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva declaring year 2020 and beyond a year of gas, he said its members have enough gas to meet the industrial needs of Nigeria.
According to Tarka, its members have the required technology adding that infrastructures are being put in place for members to meet local needs in line with the federal government
“Our members have been exploring for gas years before the declaration was made by the Minister. Already, gas wells in their thousands have been dug before now. So what we will do is go back and reopen them so we don’t need new exploration for now. We already have so much gas volume. All we need now is the equipment to lift those gas from the wells, as much as Nigeria needs for industrialisation”, he said.
The Association maintained that oil and gas will continue to be fuels of choice for the unforeseeable future and conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons are likely to remain the main component of the energy mix needed to meet the growing global energy demand in the next five decades. “In the coming period, technological innovations will be critical not only in ensuring the supply of affordable hydrocarbons, but in mitigating the environmental impact of hydrocarbon exploration, production and utilisation”, he said.
While giving updates on the frontier basins particularly the Benue Trough, Tarka said the federal government will continue to pursue vigorous exploration with the best of technology.
According to him, exploring for oil will increase the national reserve, maintaining that there are prospects of reaching oil in commercial quantity in the Trough.
This year’s conference will hold both virtually and physically in Lagos and will observe international COVID-19 protocols to protect its members.
“The challenges of COVID19 made us consider holding this year’s conference both online and physically to protect our members who reside here in Nigeria and outside the country. We are expecting over 1000 online attendants and about 30 physically. All protocols of washing of hands, wearing of facemask and social distancing will be maintained at the physical venue,” he said.
The event will have four major formats:
- Pre- Conference Workshop
The theme of the Pre- Conference Workshop which holds on Monday 16th November and starting at 9: 00am is “Levers for Optimal Costs Reduction in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Production: Positioning for the New Normal”. The Keynote Speaker will be Roger Brown – CEO, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.
The Pre-Conference Workshop is expected to set the tone for the entire conference. It is worthy to note that key pieces of legislation such as the Marginal Fields Act and the Deepwater Act were all based on templates that came out of previous NAPE Pre-Conference Workshop Communiqués.
- Management Session
The Management session has the theme: “Future of 0il and Gas Industry in a Low Oil Price Environment: Survival Strategies”
It holds on Tuesday 17th November at 1: 00pm. The key objectives of the Management Session is to exchange views on how best to meet fiscal, infrastructural, and systemic challenges in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
The Exhibition which will be virtual will showcase the latest technologies, products, services and competencies from major IOCs and Indigenous operators in the upstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. There will be a dedicated pavilion for banks/financial institutions/Universities/Other Professional associations.
The Awards / Recognition Night, which is the biggest social event of the conference takes place on Thursday 19th November and will recognize individuals, institutions and corporate entities that have advanced the learning and practice of the geosciences in Nigeria and globally. Other social events include the African Night on Tuesday 17th November, extending the warmth of African hospitality to all conference attendees.
The 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition will also provide other learning opportunities which include the Young Professionals Programme, Pre-Conference Short Courses from 14-15 November and a one-day Pre- Conference Field Trip with the theme: Coastal Environments: Relating Modern-Day Processes to Sedimentary Successions. jointly hosted by NAPE and Women in Geosciences and Engineers (WiGE), a sister Association of NAPE.
The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) is the umbrella association for persons involved in the professional application of geosciences and related disciplines to the exploration and production of oil and gas in the country. It has over 12,000 strong membership which cuts across the oil & gas industry. Founded in 1975, the Association’s flagship Annual International Conference and Exhibition holds every year.