Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., has argued in favor of allowing Nigeria to shift to a more flexible and gradual energy policy.
The head of NNPC said yesterday that rapid demographic change will continue to increase demand for energy services throughout Africa in the ensuing decades. He was speaking at the 40th annual international conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists. His topic was “Global Energy Transition and the Future of the Oil and Gas Industry: Evolving Regulations, Emerging Concepts, and Opportunities.”
The Executive Vice President, Upstream, Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye, spoke on behalf of Kyari, who stated that by 2022, the average daily oil consumption in Africa would be 4.36 million barrels.
Even though Africa uses the least amount of modern energy per person in the world, he lamented that 970 million Africans lack access to clean cooking gas and predicted that energy consumption would rise as the continent’s population and prosperity grew.
In spite of Africa’s continued reliance on fossil fuels, Kyari informed the audience that the energy mix has become more diverse, with hydropower making the only substantial contribution from renewable sources.
He stated: “It is therefore our firm position that fossil fuel will continue to contribute more than 50 per cent to the energy mix in Africa and possibly the rest of the world.”
“However, the most important question for this strategic gathering is around competitiveness of the hydrocarbon sources compared to renewal comparatives in terms of cost, energy contents and sustainability.”
“Recent happenings in the Russian-Ukraine crises have seen the resurgence for the need of fossil fuels and in some cases adverse use of high-carbon generating energy sources like coal, this also points to the fact that energy transition implementation has to be gradual.”
“It is therefore imperative for the industry, NAPE and key stakeholders to rededicate ourselves towards scaling above the challenge posed by transition.
“One way to scale up is by delivering the most advantaged barrels to the world while paying attention to environmental sustainability through huge investments in technology and innovation.”
“Nigeria and the rest of resource dependents would require oil to transit out of oil. However, we will remain sensitive to the growing global concerns relating to global warming, climate change, and the increased attention in national and international public discourse generally due to increasing environmental concerns resulting from the heightened concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG), which are associated mostly with fossil fuel combustion.”
“This has led to renewed interest in low carbon-intensive and environmentally friendly energy sources.”
He added that the energy transformation is currently going extremely quickly and that the primary fund sources for investments in the upstream production of petroleum are now activist and anti-fossil.
The chief executive of NNPC claimed that as banks, multilateral lenders, and investors shift money away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energies, the financing of oil and gas projects has grown increasingly complex.
He claims that, “there is a universal acceptance of the need to gradually transit by reducing energy-related CO2 emissions to limit climate change.
“However, there is also a need to recognise that while aggressive energy transition programs are being pursued in developed countries, many emerging countries, especially those with hydrocarbon-dependent economies like Nigeria, require a more gradual and flexible approach to the energy transition mantra.”