IOCs to invest $16.6bn in Nigeria’s petroleum sector –Lokpobiri

 24th May 2024


Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, (Oil), Heineken Lopkobiri, on Thursday, raised hope of improved investments in the sector, with TotalEnergies and other International Oil Companies (IOCs) expressing appreciable interest in Nigeria’s new oil bid round launched recently at the 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, USA. 

The total volume of investments expected is over $16.6 billion.

The Minister disclosed this at the one-year ministerial press briefing where he listed other multinationals seeking to return and invest in the country. They are; Halliburton, Eni, and Schlumberger.

Lokpobiri said that the country has seen investments committed to the tune of $5 billion (Bonga North) and $10 billion by Shell and Eni in deepwater offshore assets; and $1.6 billion investment commitment in oil and gas asset acquisition by Coastal Services Solutions Limited.

The minister also highlighted the role of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd in raising oil production from around 1.1 million to 1.7 million per day.

He said: “Recall that recently the global CEO of Total made a statement in Kigali, Rwanda, and he said Nigeria hasn’t seen investment for 12 years, which is true. And we are already changing the narrative. I was in a meeting with him on Saturday with the president, and all the issues he raised, we are already addressing. Also to tell you that Total has also shown significant interest in the new bid rounds.

“The President approved the new bid round, which we launched in Houston sometime this month and Total is already expressing significant interest in some of those blocks. So, also other IOCs, which means that the IOCs, we’ve been able to, rekindle the confidence of the investing community, and they are coming back.

“Even this morning (Thursday, May 23, 2024), I was playing host to the global CEO of Schlumberger, one of the biggest oil and gas service providers in the world. Schlumberger among other companies like Halliburton left Nigeria, why did they leave because the policies were not favorable?

“They left because some people who implemented the Local Content Act misunderstood the local content to be a substitution of the IOCs.

“The law was to build local capacity to play at their own level. As of today, no local drilling company can go deep offshore to drill. It’s still within the exclusive capacity of the big oil service companies to go deep offshore where the bulk of our production is coming from. It’s important to note that over 80 per cent of what is produced locally is produced by the IOCs.

“The IOCs themselves have pledged, they are not leaving Nigeria, but they are trying to live on the shore, and shallow waters, to go to the deep offshore, which is beyond our capacity at the moment.

“So, the point is that we have been able to rekindle the confidence, we have restored the confidence of the investing community in the oil and gas sector, and that is why Halliburton’s global CEO was here, and that was why the total global CEO was here last Saturday.

And I’ve met with the global CEOs of Shell, Eni. As I speak now, the team of Eni is still waiting for me in my office. All these are to show that the policies of this government are working, we are already bringing back the investors who have enough confidence in this present administration.”

As the asset divestment tunes by IOCs reached a crescendo recently, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission unveiled a new licensing round for 12 oil blocks and additional seven old blocks.

The NUPRC dominated conversations at the OTC in Houston, wooing investors and assuring them of a suitable investment space.

To back the claim, the Commission’s Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, organised a roadshow to Miami, Florida, USA where it flaunted the oil wells before the US and other investors and pledged numerous incentives, including reducing the entry fees for both offshore and the deep offshore blocks.

At the Africa CEO in Kigali, Rwanda, the Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanne disclosed that the company snubbed Nigeria when investing $6 billion in energy projects in Angola over inconsistency in policy making.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *