The oil and gas production in Nigeria is being severely impacted by the Western ESG strategies that are forcing IOCs to reconsider their upstream and downstream operations worldwide, resulting in major reshuffling and divestments of assets.
Future In Jeopardy
Nigeria, one of OPEC’s leading oil producers, has already seen $21 billion worth of assets divested, putting its future in jeopardy. In contrast to Western NGOs strategies, NGOs in Nigeria, such as “We, the People,” are calling for a government moratorium to prevent further divestments in the Niger Delta. The NGO is concerned that if oil companies are allowed to divest without cleaning up the entire Niger Delta region, the environmental issues in the area will never be addressed.
The regulatory uncertainty of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector prior to the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and ESG-related fossil fuel divestment schemes forced by energy transition and COVID-19 are the main reasons for the divestments, according to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
Decrease In Capital Expenditure
Nigeria’s yearly capital expenditure in the upstream arm of the oil sector decreased by over 70% within a period of eight years. The country’s total annual upstream capital expenditure decreased by 74% from $27 billion in 2014 to less than $6 billion in 2022, and competition from regional peers has led to a decrease in the proportion of the overall upstream investment attracted by Nigeria.
However, there is still hope, as Nigeria is showing increased natural gas reserves and oil reserves in the short term. The NUPRC has reported that Nigeria’s oil and condensate reserves are 31.060 billion barrels for oil and 5.906 billion barrels for condensate. Associated gas reserves are 102.32 trillion cubic feet, non-associated gas reserves are 106.51 trillion cubic feet.
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