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Petroleum engineers want deployment of technology to curb oil theft

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Council says deployment of modern technology can assist in curbing crude oil theft in the country.

Mr Tunji Akinwunmi,  Chairman, SPE Nigeria,  made the assertion while speaking with newsmen  in Lagos on Wednesday.

He spoke ahead of the council’s 2021 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) holding on  March 18 in Abuja.

Akinwunmi said that some operators had started utilising drones and other modern gadgets to monitor pipelines and petroleum infrastructure.

He said that  it needed to be expanded and sustained.

Akinwunmi said that the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively affected the oil and gas industry, hence the need to improve on operational excellence and portfolio optimisation going forward.

According to him, both factors can help to reduce the Unit Operating Cost (UOC) of producing crude oil in Nigeria which the government targets to be not more than $10 per barrel by December 2021.

Akinwunmi also noted that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill , currently before the National Assembly, would stimulate more activities in the oil and gas sector.

He said it would maximise opportunities for the benefit of the country.

On the 2021 OLEF,  he said Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; and Mr Mele Kyari ,Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; were among stakeholders expected at the hybrid event.

He said also expected as keynote speaker is  Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr Sarki Auwalu.

Akinwunmi said the lecture would look at reducing overall cost of doing business through digitalisation, reevaluation of operational strategies, deployment of local technology and entrenchment of good governance.

The SPE chairman said over 3,000 participants from the industry, government and academia are expected to participate in the lecture both online and offline.


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