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Oil, Gas Industry Must Continue to Adapt in Order to Thrive – Sarki

-By Gideon Osaka

The changes in the global energy landscape has made it imperative for the oil and gas industry to adapt accordingly in order to maintain relevance, remain competitive and thrive.

Mr Auwalu Sarki, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), spoke recently at the virtual opening ceremony of the Energy Industry Transformation Summit (NEITS), organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council.
Sarki said theme of the summit “Changing Global Energy Landscape: Strategies for Industry Sustainability’’, was not only relevant and germane, but timely and apt.
“The scene of the world is changing rapidly, and the industry must respond and adapt accordingly to survive, maintain relevance, remain competitive and thrive,” he said.

According to him, the oil and gas industry has been affected by a combination of factors including, changing demography with resultant shift in energy supply and demand equilibrium, adding that globalisation and geopolitics, climate change and drive for alternative energies, as well as technology and innovation, had also affected the industry.

“More recently, the effect of the ‘Triple force’ of COVID-19 pandemic, oil price crash and OPEC+ production cuts have clearly demonstrated the compelling need for new thinking and approach for strategic repositioning and business optimisation in the industry,” Sarki said.

The DPR chief said the agency had adopted several approaches and streamlined its processes to deepen its influencing role as an opportunity house and business enabler for the industry.

He said the approaches included cost control and management, strategic partnership, vertical integration, diversification and portfolio rationalisation and operational resilience.

Sarki noted that DPR is proud to be associated with the SPE, which had the ideals and vision of enabling the industry meet the world’s energy demand in a safe, environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.

In his remarks, Mr Joe Nwakwue, Chairman, SPE Council Nigeria, said the world was gradually shifting to cleaner sources of energy due to environmental impacts of oil and gas activities.

Nwakwue said: “Awareness and policy geared toward renewable energy use and energy efficiency is spreading. These places a potential cap to oil and gas demand in the future.

“The impact of this transition toward a low carbon economy on energy-deficient and energy-hungry countries like Nigeria (where enhanced energy access and availability is crucial to human wellbeing and country’s economic growth and development), is a subject of great concern for sustainability.

“Consequently, there is a tendency of having rapid evolution and adoption of renewable energy technology (solar and wind), thereby reducing energy costs, changing lifestyles and habits by our large youth population.
“All these are expected to impact the economic future of the affected countries and the future of Energy.”