33RD SPE CONFERENCE OPENS IN ABUJA ...Vice President Jonathan promises petroleum bill will reform industry August 3, 2009
The 33rd edition of the Nigeria Annual International Conference & Exhibition (NAICE) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) kicked off in Abuja on Monday August 3, 2009, with the key speakers acknowledging the challenges facing the oil and gas industry at this point of global economic meltdown and the need to plan ahead to remain relevant in the future.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who declared the conference open, stated that the theme of the conference, “Future Energy Dynamics: Sustainability, Research and Technology” closely aligned with the global trend “and the challenges our nation is facing”. The vice president was represented by the Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman.
Vice President Jonathan said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is now before the National Assembly is a one-stop legislation designed to comprehensively reform the oil sector, through fiscal and regulatory frameworks. He assured that “the management and allocation of petroleum resources shall be contracted through good governance and transparency.”
According to Dr. Lukman, the increasingly complex nature of the world has made it more urgent to have guarantees for energy supplies and brought to the front burner, the need to curb the side effects of environmental degradation caused by the exploration for fossil fuels.
Stating the need for fossil fuel will continue to increase, even in the near future, Dr. Lukman informed his audience that global energy resources would be determined by:
diversity of resources
diversity of sources
diversity of technology, and
diversity of people and work process
His position had earlier been stated, though in different words, by the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, who in a goodwill address, said that “fossil fuel will continue to play a major part in the energy mix.”
He urged: “It is important for our industry to come together to shares thoughts and engage in dialogue” on the best way forward for the industry. This has become critical because of the severe financial constraints in which the industry is operating.
Earlier, the chairman of the SPE, Nigeria Council, Mr. Bayo Ojulari, had welcomed all the participants to the conference. He stated that this “year is very unique in many ways for the E&P industry. The uniqueness stems from the compelling changes that are happening or anticipated within the industry across the board as a result of the global economic recession.”
After the opening ceremony, the Minister and his entourage went round the various exhibition booths, during which exhibitors explained their programmes and projects to them.
Also in attendance at the opening session were the Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, former Petroleum Minister, Chief Don Etiebet, Total E&P Nigeria Chief Executive, Mr. Guy Maurice, the DMD (Corporate), Mr. Alek Musa and other executives from various companies in the industry.