Petroleum Technology Development Fund hosts the 2017 Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum as part of its strategic partnership with practitioners in the oil and gas industry, the forum provides a platform for oil and gas professionals to deliberate on current global realities in the industry. The theme of this year’s lecture is “Domestic Gas Utilization in Nigeria: From Producers to Users”.

Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau in his contribution to the discussion blamed the nations’ inability to harness and optimally utilizes its gas resource to the lack of adequate manpower that is needed to drive both the regulatory and policy framework as well as other activities towards the exploration of the gas value chain in the country.

“The way I see it is that, we did not address the great question of the critical manpower that is required to bring all this together. You can have reserves but you may not be able to work on these reserves. You can put in the best and most perfect regulatory framework but somebody has to manage it. You can import the most cutting edge processing facilities and put them in place but there has to be somebody to manage that. A simple truth is that we have not really addressed the need adequately to develop the critical mass of manpower that is required to animate this industry”.

Dr Gusau however disclosed that, as a capacity building agency of the government, the PTDF is making effort to address those challenges, which resulted in the recent establishment of   gas technology unit within the Fund  that will identify the manpower gap needed in the area and work towards addressing it, in addition to the Fund’s plan to establish a gas technology training facility in one of its proposed Centres of Excellence in order to train the requisite human capital requirements for the entire gas value chain.

He said “we in PTDF are just coming to term with that reality; we looked at the shared scale of what is required in the gas value chain, from upstream

reservoir analysis to specific gas exploration. The downstream processing network, the transportation facilities and even the utilization end. The simple thing is we need to ask ourselves what we need to do, or do we continue to import manpower from other places when they also need the same manpower, and it does not come cheap anyway! So, as we are thinking of the commercial framework, we are thinking of the regulatory framework and all the other initiatives, we advert our minds to the kind of people that we need to run all these things”.

Convener of the event and chairman of SPE Nigeria council Dr Saka Matemilola disclosed that, the lecture is an annual event organized to commemorate the first oil-well discovery in Nigeria by Shell Darcy at Oloibiri in 1956 in Bayelsa State.  He disclosed also that, since inception of the lectures in June 1991, it focused on contributing to oil and gas policy development in Nigeria and ultimately for Sub-Saharan Africa, attracting participants from the government, regulatory agencies, and heads of industry practitioners at all levels as well as other key stakeholders from the industry within Africa.

The lead presentation was made by the chairman Nigerian Gas Association, Engr Dada Thomas and the discussant were eminent practitioners from the industry ranging from the domestic gas users, independent operators, marginal filed operators, service providers and other operators from the industry.