The Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government is gradually opening up new frontiers of development in the Niger Delta, especially in the oil and gas industry.
The recently concluded 34th edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria Council’s Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) 2010 at Tinapa, Calabar, was a clear testimony that the region is gradually picking up from the lull in the E&P industry, occasioned by militant activities.
The 34th edition of the international conference was the first to be hosted in the Niger Delta, after about 10 years of hosting the event consecutively in Abuja.
The conference had as its theme: “Meeting World’s Energy Supply and Demand Mix, the Role of Africa”.
Given the central role of Africa in addressing world energy demand and supply, the week-long event provided opportunity for stakeholders to make significant in-road in shaping policy direction and dissemination of technical information in the development of the petroleum industry.
Musing over the challenges of development in the oil and gas industry, Engr. Anthony Abolarin, chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers, N Nigeria Council (2009-2010), stated that; on the global scene, not withstanding the recent unprecedented high oil price ($140 plus), the effect of the economic recession has created record deficits and soaring unemployment levels in the various countries across the globe. Consequently, he said, the oil price has since dropped by 50 per cent of this peak.
According to Engineer Abolarin, who is of Total E&P, “ the major challenge in the oil industry is meeting global capacity addition requirements”, but he added that reserve availability is not a critical challenge; but timely reserve development and security of supply.
To discuss regional trends in the industry, Abolarin said the 34th edition was designed to cover key areas such as technical sessions and exhibitions. With the presence of captains of the oil and gas industry, servicing organisations, professionals, academia and government agencies in the forum, he expressed optimism that the key objective of the conference as portrayed in the theme will be addressed.
The technical session featured over 105 technical papers, (81 oral and 24 poster sessions) covering technical, commercial, legal organisational, health, and safety and sustainable development interest areas.
There were two panel sessions for the conference on important topics of continental and theme-related interests. The two topics of discussion were: “Imperative for Financial Investment in Energy Research and Development in Sub-Sahara region,” and “Legal, Financial and Political Framework for Energy Development in African sub-region, the journey so far.”
Experts in the fields of discourse brought to bear their wealth of experience by doing justice to the topics.
NAICE, 2010 Conference Chairman, Engineer Toni Ezeukwu of Addax Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited, said the 34th edition of the conference was important in many ways. Apart from witnessing a significant rebirth from the old order, he said the theme was a “soul searching topic for Africa and Nigeria’s clean development of oil and gas to guarantee its supply.
Engineer Ezeukwu expressed gratitude to the various companies who facilitated the event by making their staff available for needed services. He also thanked the government of Cross River State for their overwhelming support in the week-long event.
Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State was particularly delighted over the choice of Cross River State (TINAPA) as the venue of this year’s event.
Imoke offered the traditional hospitality and rich cultural heritage of the state to the participants as a mark of patronage and partnership, and stressed that Calabar should be considered a choice place for subsequent events.
About 64 companies exhibited successful projects and innovative technologies designed to improve safety, operational efficiency, environmental protection and overral optimisation of oil and gas asset development.
Practical short courses were also thought during the conference as part of continuous education, and participants availed themselves to improve their knowledge in various specialized fields. The Society of Petroleum Engineers, (SPEI) professional certification examination was also conducted at the conference.
The turn up for the 34th edition of the NAICE was unprecedented and monumental. Although there was a shaky start for the event as there were obvious breaches in logistics, resulting from the malfunctioning of some equipment in the TINAPA Business Resort. The organizers quickly addressed the shortcomings, and assured that such lapses would be subsequently addressed.
A new programme for family leisure and relaxation was also introduced as part of the event, and the lush and exciting water parks and games arcade within TINAPA Business Resort filled the quest of the participants for fun.
Highlights of the event were a visit to the Slave Museum and historical sites, including a trip to Obudu Ranch.
Shell To Appeal Ruling On Carbon Emission Cut Target
Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed plans to appeal against the Dutch court ruling, calling for it to cut its carbon emissions faster.
Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, said the company had agreed that “urgent action is needed” to reduce carbon emissions, and vowed to accelerate its progress towards becoming a net zero carbon company, but said that Shell would still appeal against the ruling “because a court judgment, against a single company, is not effective”.
A court in The Hague reached the verdict in May this year after Friends of the Earth and over 17,000 co-plaintiffs successfully argued that Shell had been aware of the dangerous consequences of CO2 emissions for decades, and that its climate targets did not go far enough.
It ruled that Shell has an obligation to cut its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030, compared with 2019 levels, under both Dutch law and the European convention on human rights – the right to life and the right to family life – and that the company had known for “a long time” about the damage caused by carbon emissions.
“What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system,” he said. “Climate change is a challenge that requires both urgent action and an approach that is global, collaborative and encourages coordination between all parties,” Beurden added.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, also known as Milieudefensie had said the appeal would send “the wrong signal” and confirm Shell’s “lack of commitment” to tackling the global climate crisis.
A director at Milieud-efensie, Donald Pols, said the appeal aimed to postpone any action from Shell and warned that “the longer the delay the more serious the climate consequences will be for us all”.
A lawyer for Milieude-fensie, Roger Cox, said: “The judges have passed a well-considered judgment on Shell in the verdict. We are confident that this judgment will be reaffirmed on appeal. The science is clear on the consequences of and solutions to dangerous climate change.”
Shell set out its latest carbon emissions goals earlier this year ahead of a shareholder vote on its plan to become a net zero carbon energy company by 2050. However it also signalled to investors that it would continue to grow its gas business by more than 20 percent in the next few years, despite the urgent need to begin dramatic emissions cuts before the end of the decade.
Although the FTSE 100 group won the support of the majority of its investors it also suffered a significant investor rebellion after a Dutch climate activist group, Follow This, called for the company to set tougher carbon emissions targets and received 30 percent of shareholder votes.
Following court ruling, Van Beurden said in a statement on his LinkedIn page that he was disappointed that Shell was “singled out” by a ruling that “does not help reduce global CO2 emissions”.
He wrote: “Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today. This would certainly cut Shell’s carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit. Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations.”
DPR Sets Record Straight On Subsidy Removal
The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has clarified that its Director, Sarki Auwalu, was quoted out of context, following recent reports attributed to him that petrol could be sold for as high as N1000 per litre if subsidy was removed without alternative.
A statement by the department faulted the reports, describing it as a “misinterpretation”.
“DPR wishes to state that the headline of the publication is misleading as the comments of the Director/CEO DPR was clearly taken out of context.
“The director/CEO specifically created a scenario of price instability of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) based on current dollar to naira differentials to the effect that if Nigeria continues to rely on the importation of PMS without creating alternative energy sources like CNG, LNG, AUTOGAS etc, which will provide price buffers for consumers and ultimately crash the price of pms, then the product will be subject to prevailing market forces.
“The director further reemphasised that the strategy for alternative energy sources is a cardinal programme of the government which has led to the declaration of the Decade of Gas (DoG) with the objective to migrate the Nigerian economy to a gas based economy by 2030.
“The Department hereby restates that we will continue to enable businesses and create opportunities through our downstream focus on Quality, Quantity, Integrity and Safety (QQIS)”, the statement said.
Oando Settles Legal Tussle With SEC
Oando Plc has entered into a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the overriding interest of the shareholders of the company and the capital market after years of legal tussle.
This was contained in a circular posted on SEC’s website on Monday and obtained by Tide source.
According to reports, the commission in 2019 said it found Oando guilty of serious infractions, thereby barring the company’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Wale Tinubu, and its deputy CEO, Mr Mofe Boyo, from the boards of public companies for five years.
SEC also instituted an interim management to appoint new board of directors and management team for Oando.
The circular said the company had reached a settlement with the commission without accepting or denying liability on immediate withdrawal of all legal actions filed by it and all affected directors.
It said the agreement included payment of a monetary sum, and an undertaking by the company to implement corporate governance improvements.
“Part of the terms required the submission by the company of quarterly reports on its compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement; the Investments and Securities Act, 2007; the SEC Rules and Regulations; the National Code of Corporate Governance and the SEC Guidelines to the Code of Corporate Governance.
“Pursuant to the powers conferred on the Commission by the Investments and Securities Act 2007, and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, the commission on July 15, entered into a settlement with Oando Plc (the company).
“The commission in its letter to the company dated May 31, 2019, gave certain directives and imposed sanctions on the company, following investigations conducted pursuant to two petitions filed with the commission in 2017.
“The company and some of its affected directors had challenged the said directives in a series of suits commenced at the Federal High Court,” it said.
The circular said Oando approached the commission for a settlement of the matter, and both parties had agreed to settle in consideration of the impact that a further prolonged period of litigation would have on the company’s shareholders and the value of their investments.
The commission also reiterated its commitment to ensuring the fairness, transparency and integrity of the capital market, while upholding its mandate to protect investors.
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