Minister Alison-Madueke was accompanied by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – Engr. Austin Oniwon and the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) – Mr. Osten Olorunsola, among other senior officials.
‘We are delighted to welcome the Honourable Minister,’ said Andy Brown, Shell’s Director of Upstream International. ‘Nigeria is an important energy producer with huge potential for growth and Shell would like to contribute to that growth.” In addition to new investment opportunities, the delegation discussed a number of issues of national importance including Nigeria’s Natural Gas Master Plan. The Minister reconfirmed Shell’s commitment to work through The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited Joint Venture (SPDC JV) to help deliver support to projects that will provide additional domestic gas consumption.
Mr. Brown said, ““The SPDC joint venture pioneered and has continued to be at the forefront of gas development and utilization since the 1960’s. It remains the single largest supplier, at about 45%, of the country’s domestic gas supply used mainly for power and industries. The venture therefore has the presence and experience to collaborate with other parties to help achieve this important national aspiration”
The national interest to reduce flaring was also discussed. Since 2000, the Joint Venture has spent more than $3 billion on associated gas gathering infrastructure. As a result, between 2002 and 2011, SPDC JV flaring dropped by more than 60% from over 0.6 billion cubic feet a day to about 0.2 bcf/d. This makes the SPDC JV among the best of its peers in amount of flaring per volume of oil produced.
The delegation discussed the need for long term solutions to illegal refining and crude oil theft that cause the majority of oil spills in the Niger Delta and deprive the government and the people of Nigeria important revenue. The SPDC JV is committed to cleaning up spills related to company facilities regardless of the cause. However, these efforts will not be effective if illegal activities re-impact the same sites.
Later in the day, the delegation visited the Rijswijk Technology Center to learn about the latest oil and gas development technologies and participate in a well drilling simulation. The visit underscored the mutual interest of Shell and the Nigerian delegation to find innovative ways to develop the capacity of domestic exploration and production companies such as the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited.