Daily Trust (Abuja)

29 February 2012

Nigeria: Exxonmobil Boss Seeks Pragmatic Actions to Develop Oil Industry

It is time to march words with actions in developing the country's oil and gas industry, the oil operators have told the Federal Government.

Several reasons have been given by government for failure to meet its aspirations of increasing oil reserves from the current 37.5 billion barrels to over 40 billion barrels or 4 million barrels/day in 2010.

The Managing Director of the ExxonMobil Company of Nigeria, Mr Mark R. Ward said at the Nigeria Oil and Gas conference 2012 held in Abuja that the importance of stable energy policies that support long-range thinking encourage long-term investment and allow the industry to maintain the required momentum.

"There have been many reasons brought forward... militancy, lack of funding, time consuming bureaucracy, lack of local capacity, no clarity on PIB .. but finding the answers to these questions is key. Key to determining the "what's next for Nigeria's exploration and production industry."

Mark said the "vision is good and clarity needed, but what is needed more is execution. In the famous words of a very successful enterprise ... it is time to ... just do it."

He said it is vital that governments recognize that we live in an energy-interdependent world in which both suppliers and consumers benefit from a well -functioning global marketplace.

He suggested that with the right combination of technology application, investment attracted by globally competitive fiscal terms and public policy support of free trade, transparency and efficient bureaucracy, it is within our collective power to resolve the issues limiting reserves and production growth in upstream Nigeria.

My perspective is that now is the time for industry and government to partner together to address these challenges.

Also speaking at the meeting, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Mutiu Sunmonu said with good policies, the operators will have good plans for the future.

He said its right time for government to set good policies in the industry in order to pave ways for future investment.

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