• The divestment of CIOs, an opportunity for indigenization, according to the boss of Seplat
The under-exploitation of hydrocarbons in Nigeria has only allowed the country to produce one percent of the world’s daily oil production, said the managing director of Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown.
Brown, who spoke at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorers (NAPE) workshop in Lagos, urged stakeholders to vigorously exploit the opportunities inherent in the sector.
He said that in this era of divestments by Nigeria’s International Oil Companies (IOCs), indigenous energy companies with the right skills and means are natural partners for the government in the quest to exploit oil and gas assets.
Brown, in his presentation at the event, said the CIOs would continue to leave the onshore and shallow terrain of the Niger Delta, noting that the move should be seen as an opportunity for indigenization, not a disadvantage for Nigeria.
He said local energy companies had a Nigerian investment appetite and were not looking to leave the country, adding that they had a good understanding of the country’s risks and had a more hands-on approach to macroeconomic events with an investment horizon at long term.
According to him, Nigeria accounts for 1% of the world’s daily oil production, but the sector’s potential remains vast.
“Sector players need to work together more collaboratively to ‘grow the pie’. It is a scenario of shared risk and shared prosperity. We must work together to develop and monetize the country’s resources, especially when global demand for liquids drops – at some point,” he added.
Brown explained, “Capital will only travel and stay in Nigeria when the investment landscape is transparent and stable. Given the uncertainties, investors find it difficult to gauge the future – there is always an event that impacts value.
“Equities are extremely undervalued and the unavailability of foreign currency for exit is a barrier to foreign investment. Lenders are uncomfortable if equity is scarce – they don’t want to be the only solution, in especially if adverse events occur.
The biggest business opportunity ahead, Brown noted, is to provide the right mix of energy to support Nigeria’s growth. In doing so, he said all energy businesses should have a positive social impact and contribute to Nigeria’s achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Telling the story of Seplat Energy’s transition, he said the company was growing its upstream business by selectively expanding its asset base, optimizing the gas/oil mix, increasing production, reducing costs and carbon intensity and increasing revenue security by diversifying market access routes.
Chairman of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NRC), Isa Modibbo, said CIO divestments are creating opportunities and possibilities for Nigeria’s educated youth.
Noting that he was happy with the ongoing divestments, Modibbo said that no country in the world keeps its national heritage in the hands of a third party.
Acknowledging that oil remains a very important tool for national development, diplomacy and power, he said the world has reached a stage where oil is no longer what it used to be and technology is becoming the next big thing. thing.