Lokpobiri Urges Researchers, Innovators To Embrace Energy Transition

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heinekin Lokpobiri.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources(Oil), Senator Heinekin Lokpobiri has called on researchers and innovators in the country to embrace the cleaner energy transition drive of the Federal Government.

Senator Lokpobiri who made the appeal at the ongoing Nigeria Institution of Petroleum Engineers(NIPetE) 2023 International Conference holding in Abuja, said, it was necessary in view of their critical roles in the country.

Represented by the Director, Distribution and Utilization of the Midstream and Downstream Department of the Ministry, Engr. Augustine Okwudiafor, the Minister said, to effectively embrace the transition, government must leverage quality research, cutting-edge technology and foster innovation.

The theme of this year’s Conference is: “Research, Technology, and Innovation: Imperatives for Energy Transition”.

He noted that technology has the potential to transform the energy sector, making it more efficient, cleaner, and environmentally friendly.
“Embracing digitalization, artificial intelligence, and automation can optimise hydrocarbon economic recovery, improve resource management, lower operational costs, improve petroleum data gathering and reduce environmental impacts”, he said.

According to him, collaboration with research and development financiers was crucial on the path to a sustainable energy future.

“To support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, we must collaborate closely with universities, research institutions, and the private sector.
He said “these collaborations can lead to the creation of solutions that enhance resource recovery, reduce emissions, and improve the overall sustainability of our energy industry”.

He called for fostering an environment where entrepreneurs and innovators have access to the necessary capital and resources to drive change, noting that the path to a sustainable energy future demands collaboration with research and development financiers.

Beating his chest on the strides made so far in this direction, the Minister said government has over the years increased the number of R&D Service Permit applications.

“We have seen significant advances in technology and innovation in upstream operations. For example, in 2021, (NUPRC Data) the Nigerian upstream sector received four (4) applications for Research & Development (R&D) Service Permits. Interestingly, by 2022, this figure had risen to nine (9)”.

He noted that these applications demonstrate our petroleum industry’s growing interest in research and technology development, adding that in 2022, the profile distribution of technologies granted full and pilot test approval in the upstream sector was as follows: asset and integrity management accounted for 32%, metering for 29%, software monitoring for 21%, and subsurface production for 18%.

According to him, the achievements demonstrate industry commitment to enhancing asset management, improving measurement accuracy, implementing advanced monitoring solutions, and optimizing subsurface production.

Earlier in her welcome address, the current National Chairman of the Nigeria Institution of Petroleum Engineers, Engr. Prisca Kanebi, told her audience that the conference was put in place to address the existential challenges posed by climate change to the country.

Engr. Kanebi posited that the global community has responded by uniting under the banner of the United Nations Climate change treaty and setting ambitious net-zero goals to safeguard the planet for future generations, and Nigeria would not be an exception.

She said the discussions at the conference and beyond will revolve around innovation, collaboration and strategic planning adding that the conference will explore cutting-edge technologies, renewable energy solutions, and sustainable practices within the oil and gas sector.

“We will consider policies, regulations, and incentives that can guide the Country towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy landscape”, he said.

In his vote of thanks, the highly elated chairman of the conference planning committee, Engr. Elijah Bokizibe appreciated the participants for a resounding success of the conference because of their enthusiastic involvement, insightful contributions, and unwavering commitment to the exchange of knowledge and ideas.



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