Oando Demands Swift Action to Oil and Gas Sector Woes

Executive Director Calls for Urgent Reform Amid Industry Crisis

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
Oil sector reform

At the heart of Nigeria’s capital, during the 7th edition of the Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES), Oando PLC’s Executive Director and COO of Oando Energy Resources, Dr. Ainoje Irune, voiced a compelling urgency for the oil and gas sector to find rapid resolutions to its burgeoning challenges. In a candid exposition, Irune declared the sector to be in a “state of emergency,” advocating for an end to the perennial cycle of discussions without substantial outcomes.

With the theme ‘Innovation, Collaboration and Resilience: Empowering Independent Producers in the Dynamic Energy Era,’ the summit became a platform for Irune to echo the sentiments of many within the industry. His call transcends the borders of Oando to encapsulate the broader narrative of a sector under siege by multifaceted dilemmas, ranging from regulatory to operational hurdles.

“The entire oil and gas sector is in a state of emergency,” Irune asserted, emphasizing the immediacy with which stakeholders must act to reverse the downward spiral. The current currency escalation, he noted, is but a symptom of deeper, structural issues that the oil and gas sector, as the backbone of the Nigerian economy, is uniquely positioned to address. Irune’s impassioned plea for action highlighted a critical juncture for the industry: the transition of assets to independent local producers, a move seen as crucial for retaining value within Nigeria’s shores. Yet, this transition is not without its own set of challenges, underscored by the complexities introduced by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). According to Irune, the PIA lays a solid foundation for sectoral reform, but the protracted delay in its implementation has exacerbated the sector’s woes.

Delving deeper, Irune pinpointed operational philosophy as a fundamental issue requiring immediate attention. He illustrated this with the paradox of significant investments in assets that operators do not fully control, leading to a scenario where declining assets necessitate expensive maintenance amidst falling production volumes. “The key lies in the operating philosophy,” Irune elucidated, urging a reevaluation of how assets are managed and suggesting a pivot towards a more efficient and effective operational approach. This includes tackling procedural bottlenecks in procurement, supply chain management, and bureaucratic delays, all within a targeted timeframe.

Irune’s advocacy for decisive action and setting higher standards for the industry resonates with a sector seeking direction amid uncertainties. As Nigeria positions itself to navigate the dynamic energy era, the insights shared by Irune at NIES emphasize the imperative for innovation, collaboration, and resilience. The path forward, as suggested, involves a concentrated effort to address both immediate and foundational challenges, ensuring the oil and gas sector’s viability and its critical role in Nigeria’s economic stability and growth.

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