Covid-19: Oil Sector Needs New Strategies To Survive ‘New Normal,’ Says Kyari

NNPC GMD, Mr Mele Kyari

For the Nigerian petroleum industry to move forward in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Mr Mele Kyari, has urged industry stakeholders to evolve innovative ways to reposition the sector for sustainability. 

Speaking on Tuesday, at the opening ceremony of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Energy Industry Transformation Summit (NEITS) 2020, Kyari said industry players needed to train their eyes on a strategy that focuses on people, partnerships, profit and posterity.

He explained that the new normal era brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic has, more than ever, reinforced the need to upskill the human capacity within the industry for the next phase, and develop the capacity to attract, train and retain people in the sector.

He spoke on the theme: “Changing Global Energy Landscape: Repositioning for Industry Sustainability”.

“There must be collaboration across different dimensions; government, industry, academia and, particularly, with the communities where we carry out our operations. The social license to operate is critical to the industry’s long term survival. 

“Also, partnership among industry peers to chart new ways of resolving industry challenges and preparing for tomorrow cannot be over emphasized. I am delighted the SPE provides such veritable platform,” the GMD said.

He disclosed that for sustainability, industry players must learn to manage cost, improve efficiency and deliver required cashflow (margins) for reinvestment and expansion, stressing that without creating profit today, “we wouldn’t be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that keeps us viable and ready for tomorrow”.

Another key to reposition the industry for sustainability, according to the Kyari, is for industry players to always act and take decisions with posterity in mind.

“We must bequeath to the next generation a world worthy to live in. Our operations must therefore be carried out in a safe manner without adversely impacting the environment. As you know, most discussions around energy substitution or green economy stem from looking at the Industry as ‘dirty’ and ‘unconscionable’. It must be reiterated that our industry remains the bedrock of modern human existence. We must therefore work to create a positive view if we are to remain relevant in the long run,” he said. 

Delivering the keynote address, the President, SPE International, Shauna Noonan, clarified that the concept of energy transition was not to wipe out fossil fuel but rather an aspiration for cleaner energy.

She said the SPE, Nigeria Council, has a great role to play in reducing energy poverty, noting that energy transition was important for greater value in the global oil and gas industry.

Earlier in his welcome remark, Chairman, SPE Nigeria Council, Mr. Joseph Nwakwue, said the society was ready to offer professional services and work with all stakeholders to move the industry forward.

He informed that part of the society’s focus is capacity building to develop the required skill set for the oil and gas industry operations, stressing that it was what informed the choice of the theme of the conference.

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