Stakeholders are currently worried that with a production output of 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, Nigeriacurrently depletes about 1 billion barrels of crude oil annually from its 37.2 billion barrels of hydrocarbon reserves.
This was the position of Mr. Guy Maurice, Managing Director of Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the 29th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists which kicked off in Lagos yesterday.
According to him policies must be put in place for industry to gain a lot of time in the contracting cycle, especially by drastically shortening and reducing the time to access rigs for exploration in the Nigerian waters, “the Country should make reserves replacement a priority”.
“If we take a critical look at Perspectives for growing reserves in the next decade the answer is Exploration, Exploration and more exploration to run parallel to development project, which are also becoming more and more expensive to execute, due to slippages in complex contractual environment, couple with security challenges.
Gloomy, as we all have painted exploration recently in the Niger delta, results in the past decade suggest that, the exploration success ratio is well above 30%, which means that the basin is still a prolific oil and gas province and in fact a world class basin.
Although, the country anticipated production targets of over 3mmbbls foil per day in 2012, were not achieved, if proper corrective measures are put in place, to accelerate offshore projects in particular , increasing production by another 500,00-bbls per day is very feasible, in the medium or long term . A number of deeper water projects are still to come on stream.
It can be observed that, in the past one decade, discovered hydrocarbon volumes add up to sum 337 Bbos . 92 of these discoveries are over 500mbos each discovery which add up to 177 Bbos of that sum, only five countries actually found and grossed 122Bbos. “
“We may then ask ourselves, in which type of plays were these discoveries made. In order to properly forecast into the future, it is pertinent to first look –back into the type of plays these exploration success stories came from. In the past decade all the giant discoveries in the world has been found in a limited number of plays, and most of them exist in West Africa
These plays can only be accessed through frontiers or wildcat exploration. The above gives hope to reserve through exploration in the next decade and well into the future. If land- locked Uganda, and then relatively new Ghana can be smiling over billions of barrels of new oil find in the last decade, why not Nigeria?
So, why has exploration slowed down in Nigeria? Compared to the 1980s and 1990s, the activity reports in the oil and gas industry particularly in Nigeria, shows that drilling activities, had hit an all time low. It is evident that there was more drilling and exploration activities in Nigeria from the late 1970 till the year 2000, than we can observe today”.
Several stakeholders and operators in the nation’s oil and gas sector have lamented the highly noticeable absence of the federal government especially the Minister of Petroleum resources Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Austen Oniwon from the opening ceremony.
The conference which had the theme “Perspectives on Growing Hydrocarbon Reserves in the Next Decade” is one of the annual major conferences and exhibition in the oil and gas industry as it concerns itself basically with new oil finds to shore up the nations reserve just as depicted by the theme of this year’s conference.