Mrs. Patricia Ochogbo, President of NAPE, Tobosun Afolayan, NAPE Publicity Secretary and Mr. Frank Phido at a press conference to unveil NAPE 39th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.
-By Felix Douglas
One of Nigeria’s renowned oil and gas professional associations in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), will be holding its 39th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE), from November 14 to 18 2021. The conference will be at Eko Hotel and Suite, it will be an hybrid and physical event with exhibition. This is because of Lagos State government Covid-19 restrictions on physical event that paritcipants must not be more than 50% capacity. Therefore, some of the association’s members will attend the physical conference while others will participate via virtual.
Speaking to journalists about the event in a press conference organised by the association, President of NAPE, Patricia Ochogbu, said the 2020 event and exhibition which brought her as President of the association was done virtually due to Covid-19.
As typical of NAPE, it will feature Pre-conference Workshop and Management Session that will be dealing with cogent and topical issues. It will be an avenue for significant discourse with regards to the oil and gas sector.
Ochogbu stated further that various committees are working hard looking at the scenarios to ensure a befitting conference that will add value for members and the general public. Theme for the 39th AICE is “Petroleum Exploration in a New World: What next after the Global Crisis.”
She added that the NAPE conference will be based on early bird registration where both members and non-members apply with discount which is also applicable for the acadamia community, lecturers and students including international partnership. NAPE slogan remains “Our ideas find oil and gas.” Fuel is part of the energy transition and it contributes more than can be imagined in the energy transition and NAPE is ready to make the space works.
The Geologist noted that NAPE 2020 conference attracted about 1000 participants if it is physical but it was done virtually with 650 attendees. But 2021 edition since it will be combined, 300 participants will be attending physically due to 50% approved capacity by Lagos State government, virtual will be more than 1000 audience across the globe.
Ochogbu revealed that the association has six effective chapters to propagate its programmes especially during the lockdown arising from Covid-19, members were able to connect better electronically keeping abreast with trends.
The association offers trainings for its members since many of them work from home as the current situation in the industry demands. Seasoned professionals are usually invited to train members.
“You must agree with me that Covid-19 has impacted the oil industry significantly leading to low oil prices, people working from home including gloat in the market among others.”
The NAPE president said there had been insinuations concerning energy transition and what future lies for hydro carbon since there will be a shift and what will be the propect for Nigeria.
She allayed fear that energy transition will not pose a challenge to reduce demand for petroleum products. “Change is constant and it is normal to progress from one system to another. Therefore, there is need to plan for change as other countries are considering renewables. But they are not emphasising on environmental and other hidden costs. Electric vehicle for instance is still static and has not gotten wider acceptance across the globe. At present, Nigeria power infrastructure is experiencing challenges. With over 200 million population, how can goods and services be conveyed across the country if electric cars are used with its attendant challenges? There is a future for petroleum products in Nigeria.”
On the aspect of gas, she spoke on auto gas policy where the government has plans to convert vehicles to gas. It is a good devepment for the environment as it will resorts to low carbon emission if gas is beign used.
“Even the average Nigerian does not need much conviction if the economics are right. If I find that to drive my car to Ajah from Victoria Island and I purchase fuel for N10,000 but if I use gas, I will only spend N3,000 I don’t need a preacher to tell me to do a capital investment and save N7,000. What the government needs to do is to make the economy attractive to Nigeria.”
Ochogbu, the second female president of the association, noted that the oil industry has a success story in Nigeria with indigenous oil companies sprouting such as First E&P, Seplat among others giving space for operations with opportunities for indigenous participation in Nigeria.
She advocated for an energy bank like the Bank of Industry in order to fund the petroleum industry because exploration activities take a number of years and it is not short term which is synonymous with commercial banks. Data should be available for oil companies to use for their operations and scientific research.
The NAPE President was of the view that the prospect for Nigeria is enormous because the country has huge reserve of gas and the government is planning towards energy transition. The Federal Government had already declared 2021 as a decade of gas hence it has energy transition in mind.