The Group Managing Diurector of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has called for closer cooperation between government and international oil corporations operating in Nigeria.
Dr. Baru made this call on Monday on the opening of the four-day of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, holding at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
The NNPC GMD who chaired the second roundtable session titled, ‘Growth Outlook Strategies for Staying Competitive after Global Downturn’, was represented by Bello Rabiu, Chief Operating Officer, Upstream Autonomous Unit of the NNPC.
Panellists at the roundtable included Stuart Syminton, US ambassador to Nigeria, Jeff Ewing, CEO, Chevron Nigeria, Paul McGrath, CEO, Mobil Nigeria, business mogul, Aliko Dangote, Wale Tinubu, CEO, Oando Plc, Osagie Okunbo, Shell Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz, CEO, Total Nigeria. Others are Massimo Insulla, CEO Nigeria Agip Oil Comapny (NAOC), Tony Attah, CEO, Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas(LNG) and Olalekan Akinyanmi, CEO, Lekoil.
Baru stated that given the challenges thrown up by the global downturn in the petroleum sector, which saw oil prices plummeting and consequently reducing income of oil producing economies, it was imperative for national oil corporations and international oil companies operating in their territories to work closely together to find ways of reducing costs and improving quality.
He noted that closer collaboration in key areas common warehousing, transportation and sharing of ideas can improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 10-20 percent adding that it can even spur progress in import substitution.
Also contribution at the session, Dangote, who was represented by Mansur Ahmed, noted that a key component of staying afloat is the placing of emphasis on cost competitiveness in every area of operations in the oil sector.
He noted that one important reason the global downturn hit companies hard was because operators failed to key their eyes focus on cost competitiveness. Had this been done he said, companies and nations would have fared better. He added that cost competitiveness must be a mindset from the moment of taking Financial Investment Decisions (FIDs) through the whole process of production and supply.
Lending his voice to the debate, LNG CEO Attah said one reason the situation proved difficult for everyone was because they failed to learn from history. He noted that going forward; everyone must build resilience into efficiency.
Attah said players in the petroleum sector must tune their minds to the eventuality of crude oil becoming less dominant in the market of the future with demand reduction level of about 50 percent noting that gas would be the product of the future.