The Federal Government said on Thursday that Nigeria has lost some of its most valuable crude oil clients and that some of its gas purchasers now compete with it in the same market.
It further claimed that as the movement for renewable energy sources genuinely gained traction, international oil giants were turning their attention in large part to alternative fuels.
At the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Industry HSE Managers’ Forum opening ceremony in Abuja, the government announced this through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
Farouk Ahmed, the chief executive of the NMDPRA, urged operators in the oil sector to try to adapt to changes in the global industry while being represented by Francis Ogaree, the executive director of the agency’s hydrocarbon processing plants, installations, and transportation infrastructure division.
He emphasized that Nigeria must strengthen its oil and gas sector jointly if it is to withstand the changes in the industry by stating that the number of crude oil purchasers from Nigeria had been declining.
Ahmed said, “As we speak, some of the big IOCs are funding gigantic research in alternative fuels.
“As sweet as Nigeria’s crude is renowned to be globally, we have recently lost our most valued customers and our gas buyers are themselves now competing with us in the same market place as suppliers.
“All of these point to one fact; if Nigeria is to continue to benefit from its vast petroleum resources, now more than ever is the time to build sustainably into our oil and gas value chain, as well as management of its waste. And this rests on the shoulders of not only the regulators, but on all stakeholders.”
He noted that the oil and gas industry had for several decades maintained a pride of place at the top of the global energy mix despite the threat posed by renewables and cleaner energy sources.
“However, recent concerns about global warming, exponential improvement in the efficiency of renewable energy alternatives and the policies of oil pricing, have combined to pose almost an existential threat to the global petroleum industry,” he stated.
The NMDPRA boss added, “The threats of renewable energy sources, which in the past were almost dismissed by energy industry experts, have today become more real than ever.
“And I will like to draw your attention to a few of the more recent trends. Three among the biggest technology companies have made attempts at electric cars to replace gasoline and diesel engines.
“While the attempt of Apple may not have made it to production yet, and that of Google was suspended after clearly successful street trials, that of Tesla took the world by surprise.”
Ahmed noted that not only did the first two releases of Tesla out-performed sales forecast, they were also oversubscribed and the demand kept rising, while new models were being added.