• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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FG expects $20bn oil inflows in coming months, after TotalEnergies snub

Nigerian govt races to host $5 billion Africa energy bank

…Awaits $10bn deep offshore deal in few weeks

….Says IOCs coming back

The federal government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Petroleum (oil), has announced it’s expecting to achieve a minimum of $20 billion worth of investment in the coming months, a few days after French oil major, TotalEnergies snubbed the country for Angola.

According to Heineken Lokpobiri, minister of state for petroleum resources (oil), since his assumption to office, efforts have been made to create an enabling environment needed to attract investments into the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

“The government is working, and its effort is already bringing back investors’ confidence in this present administration. The government has done what the government is expected to do to attract investors,” Lokpobri said during the sectoral ministerial update briefing held in Abuja on Thursday.

He added, “Somebody was asking me that Total announced $6 billion of proposed investments in Angola. I’m also very happy to announce that we have a company that will announce a $10 billion investment in deep offshore in the next few weeks. And they are in town, waiting for me.

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“These were companies that left Nigeria because they believed that there were inconsistent policies, and the atmosphere was unfavorable, but following this administration’s policies of deliberately creating the best environment that are competitive globally, they are all coming back.

“There’s also another company that will invest about $5 billion. These are not stories, but I don’t want to preempt the announcement, so I let it be that we announce it so that Nigerians will know that Angola cannot be compared to Nigeria. In Africa, Nigeria is the leading oil and gas producer and we are still dominating that position.

“Our target in this 2024, having worked very hard to create an enabling environment, is to ensure that we have minimum of $20 billion in investment this year.”

Speaking further, the minister noted that the only way to sustain increasing production and generate money that the government needs to finance the economic programs is the oil and gas sector, stating that the quickest way to the nation’s economic prosperity is the oil and gas sector.

“Every country that has oil prioritises investment in oil. And Nigeria can never be an exception. So what we are doing is to see how we can create that investing opportunity for companies to come and invest.

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“The way the oil and gas sector works is this, if you have an oil block and you do not sustain your drilling program, it’s just like somebody who has dug a well. As you keep fishing, it will keep going down.

“This morning I was with a company and that company is saying that they are happy that the slum beach is back to town and they have a drilling program of drilling a hundred wells. You know what that means? That will be another major investment that will attract billions of dollars. The Ministry of Petroleum is not a ministry where you execute projects.

For him, the government is committed to creating the environment so that investors in the oil and gas sector can continue to invest in the sector.

He explained even though Nigeria has the highest reserves in Africa, there had been no significant investments. This he said has hindered the country from seeing the benefits of these huge reserves.

“You ask yourself the question, why did the companies in Nigeria fail to invest in the last 12 years? The reason is simple. The PIA took longer than ever to be passed and nobody wants to invest billions of dollars in any client where there’s uncertainty.

“Now we have told them that the PIA is now passed. We have a stable governance structure. We have the best fiscals. As the president has signed executive orders, we have the best fiscal terms that are globally competitive. And we’re saying that you have a long history with Nigeria. So come back to Nigeria and invest.

Read also: World’s top oil producers by barrels per day

“And that is why those who want to invest in the $10 billion is an old IOC. Those who want to invest the $5 billion is an old IOC. There are also a lot of smaller companies that are coming in. One is in fact proposing to invest $1.6 billion,” he said.

This development is coming days after Patrick Pouyanné, the chief executive officer of TotalEnergies, said that the company is investing $6 billion in energy projects in Angola over Nigeria, citing inconsistency in policy making in West African country as the primary reason for this decision.

The TotalEnergies helmsman said despite the Niger Delta’s status as West Africa’s most productive region, the volatile policy landscape has rendered investments unsustainable, adding that the company has not conducted oil exploration in the region for 12 years.

“We have countries that have perfectly integrated policies like Angola. So, we went to Angola and announced a very large $6 billion project at the beginning of the week because their framework is stable. So we know where we go,” he added.

However, Lokpobiri said that the FG has had and will continue to have a stakeholder’s meeting with oil majors in the country to foster a way forward in the sector.

“We are already bringing back investors because now they have confidence in this present administration,” he said.