• Monday, July 15, 2024
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LNG key to oil firms’ transition to clean energy – NewcrossEP Boss

LNG key to oil firms’ transition to clean energy – NewcrossEP Boss

Victor Sodje is the managing director at Newcross Exploration and Production Limited (NewcrossEP), an Indigenous oil and gas company in Nigeria. In this interview with BUNMI BAILEY, he speaks about the company and how it is preparing for the global energy transition.

NewcrossEP and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited recently announced the restart of production at the Awoba field. How does this align with the company’s current growth projections?

In 2022, NewcrossEP was forced to shut down Awoba due to the force majeure declared by SPDC at Bonny Terminal. This represented the height of crude losses along the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) corridor, which necessitated a shift in strategy to ensure the continuity of our business.

Our alternative crude evacuation strategy – the Crude Shipping Solution – was critical in restarting our facilities and stabilising our operations. The restart of the Awoba flow station signifies the final phase in restoring OML 24 to total production. With this achievement, the NNPC/NewcrossEP joint venture can focus on growing production within the asset.

Read also: Nigeria LNG’s force majeure continues after 10 months

How is your company preparing for the global energy transition and the shift towards cleaner energy sources?

As we know, energy transition is the global answer to addressing the long-term effects of climate change. Nations across the globe have passed legislation and established regulatory frameworks to achieve decarbonisation by 2050. This poses a unique challenge to our industry as the window is gradually closing on fossil fuels in favour of cleaner energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydrogen.

For NewcrossEP, we are mindful of this new reality. Hence, we focus on developing our significant gas resources, universally considered the “transition fuel”. This will deepen our domestic and international market participation via Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) channels.

With this strategy, we are confident that our business will be positioned strategically to thrive during the energy transition.

What is the company’s plan for gas development in line with the Federal government’s recent proclamation of the “Decade of Gas”?

NewcrossEP is fully committed to supporting the federal government’s goals of enhancing national development and securing energy security. We have developed a robust road map towards exploiting the significant gas resources within our asset. This strategy has been distilled into two phases.

Phase I is focused on maximising the existing baseline gas production within the asset by eliminating flaring through the rehabilitating aged gas infrastructure, such as our Awoba Gas Plant and other associated gas facilities.

These activities are currently underway. Phase II is focused on increasing overall gas production by exploiting our untapped non-associated gas (NAG) reserves.

Read also: Global LNG demand set to grow 70% by 2050 – Report

Can you discuss any specific Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives or policies your company has implemented?

NewcrossEP is making ESG a priority and considering ways in which we can make our business practices and processes more sustainable. For example, the company is pursuing GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction initiatives by using solar panels in our facilities, researching carbon capture and utilisation technology, and upgrading our facilities with newer technology to minimise the impact of our operations on the surrounding environment.

And finally, with our compliance with the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act, which established the Host Community Development Trust Fund, we are ensuring that we maintain a harmonious co-existence within our host environment. We are also developing a solar farm scheme by selecting the PIA project to ensure a sustainable energy solution for our community.