Mr Abiodun Adesanya, Managing Director, Degeconek Nigeria Ltd., urged the Federal Government to woo investors to carry out exploration of oil and gas in frontier basins to increase the country’s reserves.
Adesanya said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
“It is imperative to look for oil and gas in other sedimentary basins outside the Niger Delta region to grow the nation’s reserves, which is fast being depleted,” he said.
Adesanya, who is also the immediate past president of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), said the association would like to see more explorations, particularly in the frontier basin.
According to him, Nigeria’s inability to grow its reserves above 37 billion barrels is due to the failure to engage in aggressive exploration to discover new oil fields.
“Over 10 years shortfall in Joint Venture (JV) funding was responsible for the stagnation of oil reserves at its current level of 37 billion barrels.
“Whenever there is a shortfall in JV counterpart funding from the government, the area that takes the first hit is exploration,” Adesanya said.
He explained that the budget earmarked for exploration activities had dwindled over the years as a result of the shortfall in JV funding, leading to low exploration activities.
Adesanya, however, maintained that the 40 billion barrels of reserves target by 2020 was achievable.
The expert said there were quite a number of fields that had been discovered but were yet to be certified by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
“Nigeria must develop oil and gas fiscal policy to attract investments that are globally.
“There is need for collaboration by stakeholders for the achievement of sustained investment and growth in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria,” he said.
He noted that the current relative stability in the global oil markets presented an opportunity for both the operators and the government to appraise the industry and provide enduring solutions.