Abuja - The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has
described the assets divestment by International Oil Companies (IOCs)
operating in Nigeria as a good omen for local investors.
Alison-Madueke said this at an investment luncheon organised by the
Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria at the recent Offshore Technology
Conference in Houston, Texas.
She allayed the apprehension in some quarters that the development could
create crisis in the oil and gas industry.
She noted that the trend would provide the opportunity for indigenous oil
and gas companies to become active players in the upstream sub-sector of the
Alison-Madueke explained that with the divestments, indigenous oil and gas
companies now had the opportunity to acquire the assets being divested as
springboard for the development of local capacity.
The minister stated that the divestments by the IOCs were creating
opportunities for indigenous oil and gas companies to partake of the upstream
sector of the industry as well as grow capacity.
"Let me allay your fears that the spate of divestments would not lead
to crisis in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
She said that the divesting of IOCs would not leave the country, but only
shifted their focus from onshore to the more challenging frontiers of deep
offshore which currently accounted for 60 per cent of Nigeria’s production.
According to her, the indigenous Nigerian companies have been presented with
the opportunity to develop local operatorship capacity as well as boost local
production and consequently grow into major upstream players.
She cited the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the upstream
subsidiary of the NNPC, as examples of indigenous Nigerian companies that had
tapped into the opportunity provided by the development.
Alison-Madueke said this had helped NPDC to transform from a small time
player with a production of 60 000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2007 to a mid-size
She said that the NPDC was with a current production of more than 140 000
bpd through the assignment of 55 percent equity in eight divested blocks.
The minister said that NPDC had grown to become the biggest producer and
supplier of gas to the domestic market through its aggressive development of
the assets assigned to it from the divestment process.
She said that the Federal Government was ready to strengthen and support the
company to achieve its medium term objective of growing production to 250 000
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