According to Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will soon be broken up into 30 profit-making companies. The minister also disclosed that each of the thirty companies would have its own managing director.
“For the first time, we are unbundling the subset of the NNPC to 30 independent companies with their own Managing Directors,” Mr. Kachikwu said in his address at the 25th Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum in Abuja. The theme of this year’s Forum was, “Technological Advances in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Exploitation: Solutions to Global Oil Price Stability”. The Minister of State added: “Titles like Group Executive Directors are going to disappear and in their place you are going to have Chief Executive Officers and they are going to take responsibilities for their titles. At the end of the day, the CEO of an upstream company must deliver an upstream result.”
The Federal Government’s plan to unbundle the NNPC is expected to happen in a matter of weeks “as part of the ongoing transformation of the national oil company,” according to a press release signed by Ohi Alegbe, group head of the NNPC’s public affairs division.
Speaking at today’s Oloibiri Forum, Mr. Kachikwu announced that the NNPC’s operating loss had been reduced from N160 billion to N3 billion in January 2016, adding that the corporation should start generating some profit by the end of 2016.
Mr. Kachikwu also revealed that some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are scheduled to meet with Russian officials in Moscow on March 20, 2016, in a bid to stabilize tumbling crude oil prices. OPEC is seeking to enlist Russia’s cooperation in the adoption of joint strategies that would help stabilize crude oil prices.
According to Mr. Kachikwu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was focused on developing Nigeria’s gas resources “in order to boost revenue as part of the diversification policy of the Federal Government,” according to Mr. Alegbe’s statement.
The minister praised the National Assembly for its fresh attention to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), adding that the bill would promote efficiency in the oil sector. He stated that the government was working to reduce the contracting cycle of projects from two years to six months in the upstream sector, adding that the current production sharing contracts were also overdue for review.
Mr. Kachikwu urged all the players in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, whether in the upstream, midstream or downstream sectors, to work together in order to achieve results in cost control, contracting circles, technology and environmental issues. He declared that stakeholders in the petroleum sector must adopt an integrated approach to enable them to address the challenges facing the industry.
In a welcome address, George Kalu, the chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), remarked that this year’s Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum coincided with the 60thanniversary of oil exploration and production in Nigeria. He added that the low price of crude oil was an opportunity for Nigeria to reduce costs through industry collaboration.