November 2017

In November 2017, the Oil & Gas Council was back in Lagos to hold the Nigeria Assembly for the 3rd time.  Over the course of the Assembly, a number of key themes emerged from our speakers and attendees alike which we would like to share with the wider network.

The Key to Investment
There is no denying that Nigeria has an abundance of resources as well as the infrastructure and workforce capacity to take advantage of the opportunity. However, international investors are still deterred from investing. Throughout the course of the discussions, it was clear that investors have a choice and with international competition to secure their backing fierce, Nigeria, though a key prospect, has to ensure that it is more attractive by meeting international standards and requirements.
The question that is now posed to stakeholders in the industry is whether they are going to raise their standards and compete internationally or allow investment to dwindle.

The Importance of Collaboration & Partnership:
A key theme throughout the two days of conversation was around ensuring successful and mutually beneficial partnerships. Throughout the discussions there was a call from speakers and attendees alike for a continued effort to increase levels of collaboration within the industry in Nigeria, in particular between IOCs and local E&Ps, as well as between financiers and oil & gas executives. Stronger partnerships would ensure better contract renegotiation and the opportunity for growth not only in the oil and gas industry, but also in the sector as a whole.

Government Communication and Policy Development
In light of the recent passing of significant legislation, there were many conversations around implementation and improvement of policy. Many agreed that policy should be developed incrementally and integrated, unlike previous legislation which had often been introduced and then scrapped and replaced to overcome the challenges that had arisen with the policy. Moreover, attendees and speakers alike agreed that there needed to be clearer avenues to communicate with government. A few suggested that writing to Senators and government representatives was often an effective method of raising issues and finding solutions.

The Potential of Gas
Throughout the two days of conversations there was a clear optimism about the gas market in Nigeria. Arguably this was rooted in the recent passing of the National Gas Policy as well as the Ministry announcing clarifications surrounding the influence of the PIB on the gas sector in Nigeria. Whilst many suggested that the gas-to-power sector could be the golden ticket to restoring Nigeria’s position as a leader in the international energy sector, many also highlighted the potential for gas to be used in domestic commercial markets. A concern that was highlighted is the impact that competitive international gas pricing could have on reducing Nigeria’s opportunity to become an international seller of gas and for domestic users to look outside of Nigeria.
With that in mind, it is key that preventative methods are implemented to establish the gas security for future domestic commercial use and international pricing competitions.

Diversification and the Energy Transition
Highlighted in the opening session of the assembly, which was co-hosted with Future Energy Nigeria, was the importance of the Nigerian energy industry to diversify and enable collaboration between the oil and gas sector and the power sector. Whilst the power sector is continuing to grow in Nigeria, many of the participants suggested that with the backing of the oil and gas sector the power sector could grow much more rapidly and more effectively.

These takeaways will be key themes at our future events in Africa including our annual Africa Assembly 2018 which will take place in Paris 6 – 7 June. To read further information about this event please visit the Africa Assembly website or contact Esme Till[email protected].

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