Dr. Edet, NAPE’s New President, Highlights Plans for the Association

Dr. James Edet, NAPE President

…There will be network and collaboration in the development of the upstream petroleum industry in Nigeria.

…Oil and gas remains predominant source of energy in the next few decades, amidst energy mix.

-By Felix Douglas

The Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) is one of the largest body of Geoscience and earth science in the oil and gas space in Sub Saharan Africa recently held its 39th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) with a new President to head the affairs of the revered association.

Dr. James Edet, who is presently the 44th President of NAPE spoke to journalists at a media parley to appreciate his appointment and unveil plans of the association under his leadership for the next one year.

Dr. Edet who has been in the oil and gas industry works for TotalEnergies with over 35 years experience acknowledged the challenges before him steering the ship.

In his words: “Opportunity to take on this prestigious yet tasking industry representation, a show of our five core values of a performance-minded attitude, a pioneer spirit, safety, respect for each other, and the need to stand together, all of these have been demonstrated during my tenure as President-elect and chairman, conference planning committee in this recently concluded conference.”

He stated further: “In 1975, when Akomeno Oteri together with his peers started NAPE, they sure had audacious goals. NAPE, currently at 46years, have created numerous opportunities for oil explorationists and geoscientists in Nigeria and today, at over 12000 registered members strong, we are privileged by the courageous act of this young man and his pioneering friends, many of whom are still with us till-date.”

The NAPE President revealed that his administration will kickstart as soon as he gets details of handing over from his predecessor Mrs. Patricia Ochogbu who has transitioned to become the immediate past President and acts on advisory capacity.

According to Dr. Edet, “In the days ahead, focus will be on our future, but for now, it is imperative to truly reflect on the past years, especially the last two and stay thankful to the resilience of NAPE members, their learning and agile mindset and approach to delivery. The past year have been a rocky one for our industry, from COVID19 pandemic, Energy Transition and accompanying pluri-dimensional issues to the current Petroleum Industry Act whose execution details are currently been worked.”

He pointed out clearly that NAPE under his leadership will continue to steadfastly advocate for Geosciences advancement and integration, recommend and advise on policy initiatives that will add continuous value to the upstream business and create the platform for upstream petroleum industry stakeholders to share knowledge.

There will be network and collaboration in the development of the upstream petroleum industry in Nigeria.

Expressing concerns for the oil and gas industry, the NAPE helmsman said there are obvious facts to be considered in the industry:

Oil production in Nigeria has decreased to an average of 1.6million barrel per day with Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) commitment to increase reserves to 40 billion barrels and raise production to three (3) million barrels per day.

Global Energy Transition agenda of limiting the global average temperature to 1.5oC, with focus on reducing energy generated from fossil fuel sources.

Reduction in upstream investment opportunities amidst a structured fiscal framework enacted within the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA, 2021).

Covid-19, accompanying variant(s) and its lingering impact. The future of work, role of digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence, virtual and collaborative tools that can optimize value delivery. Amongst several other pertinent issues.

With these foregoing, Dr. Edet explained that  NAPE will continue to create a strong platform for its members and member organization to continually seek the optimal value from exploration and production activities, as the association is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that oil and gas will remain a predominant source of energy in the next few decades, amidst the energy mix.

“From the outcome of our successful conference, we see that the pandemic truly endangered the health and safety of the environment, our industry, and its workforce, with most of our members still working from home or in skeletal rotations. This continues to emphasize our nation and continent’s unique need of leading people out of energy poverty, hence climate change mitigation plans for us will continue to seek redress on creating a “just” energy transition strategy for our nation as we all earnestly join forces to ensure that we support our member organizations to bring production up to an economically dependable level, keep the flare out and embrace other alternative energy source in the mix, as we transition.”

He said NAPE’s mantra “Our ideas find Oil and Gas” continues to steward the association into a future of exploration activities to replace produced reserves and harness the huge gas potential of Niger Delta.

“The landscape shows that we must brace up for newer changes in our ways of working, and one of our goals will be to position and equip our members with new skills for their future workplace agility and adaptability.

NAPE also offers a unique approach at collaborating for Research and Development with our Academia community, this initiatives through our University Assistance Program will be further strengthened and support to foster an open channel for cross exchange of ideas and conducive career and personnel growth in petroleum operations.”

Dr. Edet said the association’s activities last year will be the benchmark for 2022 activities, and the executives will continue to work earnestly with other members to ensure that it continues to provide appropriate membership and industry value.

“We will continue to offer practical industry support through our external advocacy with our regulatory agencies, collaboration within the international Oil companies, the Independents Oil Companies, the Marginal operators, service, and consulting organizations and all members at large.

Our ideas find Oil and Gas continues to steward us into a future of exploration and production activities to be able to lift our nation out of energy and socio-economic poverty.”

Responding to questions about recent trends in the industry with regards to International Oil Companies (IOC) divestment and exiting from Nigeria, Dr. Edet said the IOCs are only selling assets in the onshore while they remain active in deep water.  

The NAPE President said in spite concerns of energy transition and the advent of renewables, fossil fuel still remain relevant in the value chain.

On what NAPE will be doing in case oil is extinct arising from energy transition, he said other possibilities are in the industry that members can still be involved. Gas is a clean energy which also form part of the transition adding that Geoscience and other aspects evolve in the industry which members can do to keep afloat in the industry.

Journalists also raised concerns about some IOCs which did not show their presence at the conference except for TotalEnergies which exhibited. Dr. Edet disclosed that due to Covid-19 some IOCs were busy to recover from work loss and sending their staff to exhibition might be difficult. However, some of them played active roles and participated in some of the sessions at the conference.    

He advised the government to ensure Nigeria is protected and safeguard from new omicron variant which has been discovered in some countries.

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