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Oando Advocates Increased Extraction of Crude Oil in Nigeria Despite Energy Transition Pressure – This Day News

By Peter Uzoho

* Chevron calls for stakeholder collaboration for sector’s growth

Oando Energy Resources has stressed the need for Nigeria to be aggressive in extracting the billions of barrels of crude oil the nation is blessed with for its socio-economic development and industrialisation despite the energy transition pressures.
The company also added that Nigeria must at the same time use its hundreds of trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven and yet to be proven natural gas to drive sustainable development.
The Executive Director of Oando Plc and Chief Operating Officer of Oando Energy Resources, Dr. Ainojie Irune, made the call during a panel session at the just concluded Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Energy Week 2024 in Abuja.
Sharing his thoughts on the topic: “Navigating a Sustainable Future for Independent Producers”, Irune cautioned African countries against a hasty shift towards the 30-year Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 vision.
He therefore described Africa’s hasty shift towards green energy, as a disingenuous approach, arguing that Africa, with its abundant energy resources but with widespread poverty, cannot afford a hasty transition to renewable energy.
“We have always felt it was too soon for us as Africans with huge amounts of energy resources, but we exist in deep poverty.
“We can’t transition ourselves to further poverty. We were asked to march on to a 30-year Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 vision aimed at achieving universal access to modern energy services by 2030 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We committed ourselves to the vision of turning all of our energy resources to renewable energy, unfortunately, we have no business latching on to that dream,” he said.
Irune, who is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Oando Clean Energy Limited emphasized the relevance of a balanced energy mix, noting that oil and gas would still play significant roles in the future.
According to him, “At Oando, we no longer feel pressured by the energy transition push; instead, we see an acceleration in our crude oil extraction.
“Therefore, African countries need to extract every molecule of crude oil from beneath the earth’s surface and use natural gas to champion the continent towards sustainable development.”
Highlighting Oando Plc’s commitment to supporting the African economy through renewable energy projects, Irune said, “While extracting oil, we can harness solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro in ways that support our economy,”
He mentioned that Oando’s Clean Energy Division is engaged in several projects, including transportation, solar energy, waste-to-value, wind, and geothermal energy in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
He explained that his organisation has made significant progress in projects in the transport sector due to Africa’s logistics-based economy.
“We are also involved in solar energy, waste-to-value projects, wind, and geothermal energy. One of our advanced projects is the electric vehicle initiative with the Lagos state government, where we are moving to deploy 100 buses after completing the pilot phase”, he added.
Continuing, Irune underscored the importance of ecosystem development, local capacity building, and knowledge transfer.
“We believe in contributing to ecosystem development, learning, and local capacity building.
“It’s essential to build a base that allows us to explore our oil and deploy capital to increase the size of these projects in a manageable way,” he said.
Relatedly, the Director, Deepwater and Production Sharing Contract (PSCs) at Chevron Nigeria and Mid-Africa Business, Michelle Pflueger, has called for genuine stakeholder collaboration in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to enable the growth of the sector.
Pflueger, who spoke at another panel at the NOG Energy Week, partnership was required to harness Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves, the country’s human capital and the investments for the benefit of the country, the operators and every stakeholder in the industry.
“There are the reserves, there are the people, I believe there is the investments, that’s why we are here. We have people willing to invest money in technology, into solving this challenges.
“I believe it’s partnership. I don’t think anyone company, I don’t think the federal government alone can build the energy security that this country needs. I think it requires a culture of true collaboration where we are all in it for the growth because there is too many barriers to growth and each of us is going to bring a different piece”, she stated.
She said the Nigerian oil and gas industry was in dire need of stability and security, competent workforce from the communities, business partners that  bring in the technology as well as the goods and services.

She added that “we need both the independent producers and the IOCs to come together to talk of some of the challenges that come across the whole portfolio, from deepwater to near-shore to the energy transition.”

Pflueger maintained, “And I think we all want to make money, we all need to come together to truly collaborate, and if that happens, I believe we can make the pie bigger. I think a lot of us have started looking for their piece of the pie.

“We are all going to make money. Like I said, we all like to do well in our returns on our investments. But I think there is another view of that where we can actually make the pie bigger, so that there is more for everybody, more for all of the companies. And I think that has to come from a true spirit of collaboration”

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