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Gas can Cushion COVID-19 Challenges — SPE Abuja Chair

Society of Petrolem Engineers (SPE) is the largest individual member organisation whose membership includes petroleum engineers, scientists, researchers, safety managers and related professionals as well as student members in about 143 countries participating in 203 sections and 411 student chapters. The Chairperson of the SPE Abuja Section Mr. Aristotle John-Emezi, in this interview with Danlami Nasir Isah, sheds light on the SPE Abuja Section as well as activities lined up to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the SPE Abuja.

What is the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), all about?

SPE is a not-for-profit professional organization with the objective “to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies for the public benefit”

What’s the role of the SPE in the energy industry?

SPE’s role is to further provide technologies through workshops and meetings among industry professionals; this is aimed at exchanging technical information that will result in more efficient development of oil and gas resource in Nigeria and indeed worldwide.

The Abuja Section of the SPE was established 10 years ago. What informed the decision to set up the Section?

Growth and bringing the spread of SPE and its volunteerism right through the Nigerian nation.

What have been your major achievements since establishment?

Having my ties to the SPE community strengthened and my support network broadened. It has also exposed me to people with both common and diverse interests.

What are the challenges facing the SPE Abuja?

Finance has been the greatest constraints, as Abuja is not a typical Oil and gas operations zone unlike, Lagos, PH, Benin and Warri.

What target have you set to achieve in 2021?

To increase membership and to attract a lot of young professionals through activities, most especially in the universities around Abuja and further North thereby imbibing oil and gas knowledge and volunteerism in their DNA.

SPE is the largest individual member organisation made up of engineers and scientists, yet Nigeria’s refineries are not functioning optimally. Why is this so?

Government polices and the will to drive business competition and change, not the technical side of things and SPE have made several incursions into Government to sort these issues through its various activities like OLEF and the NAICE. Hopefully our pressures will yield results someday.

How can Nigeria successfully navigate the disruptions Covid19 has caused the global oil and gas industry?

The energy sector has already felt the deep blows of the coronavirus. The outbreak has contributed to a dampened demand for oil, resulting in plummeting oil prices and production declines, looking at gas and investing in its infrastructure will be the way to go as its use far outweighs that of oil. As we move from physical to virtual engagements, activities require constant power, and it can be achieved by firing up gas infrastructures, gas to power and gas monitorizations: Also new works have been carried out by our resource persons in the Abuja section to chart new course for the Unit Technical Cost (UTC) which is basically the cost of production of a barrel of oil with new indices introduced to account for the impacts of Covid-19.

SPE Abuja will clock 10 years in February, how do you plan to celebrate this and what are the activities lined up to mark the anniversary?

Yes a couple of them, ranging from road shows, walk for life and some seminars and lectures.

The SPE Abuja section, is planning a walk to create awareness on sickle cell issues as part of activities to mark it’s 10th year anniversary. What informed this decision?

The need to address a problem as part of giving back to the society. Also to meet our Diversity and Inclusion goals because most of the time people with sickle cell disease get discriminated, so it’s our way of aligning with them to make them feel represented and loved.