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Security, Niger Delta development, key focus areas for oil production increase – Olu Verheijen 



Olu Verheijen.webp

Ms. Olu Verheijen, the special adviser on energy to President Bola Ahed Tinubu has said that security and Niger Delta development investments are key focus areas for the administration as it seeks to increase oil production in the country. 

She stated this during an interview with CNBC Africa during the Africa Oil Week conference which took place earlier this month.

According to her, the government has received feedback from oil investors at the conference on the need to tackle insecurity (crude oil theft) in the Niger Delta region as well as ensure that there is development in the region, to provide employment alternatives for the young population to safeguard oil and gas assets in the region.  

In the interview. Ms. Verheijen said the Tinubu administration is going to be defined by how investor-friendly it is.

This is because it is the deployment of private capital that unleashes economic growth and creates employment. She also said the government was working on reducing gas flares and reducing energy emissions so they can attract capital.  

She said: 

According to her, the administration is engaging oil and gas investors who are already operational in Nigeria before attracting new investors, this is because it is important to know what they have in mind.

She said the engagements have resulted in the $55 billion dollar worth of investments that they have lined up.  

Ms. Verheijen also stated that natural gas is a key energy source for Nigeria to grow its energy consumption to respond to the impacts of climate change and it will be done responsibly.

She also said that more work around security will enable associated gas to become more available.  

Meanwhile, the fiscals around non-associated gas will be improved and gas pricing will also be tackled because of the high-cost environment.

She said that they want to make sure that the end-user is not hit by multiple price increases due to rising inflation.  

Recall that ThePressNG gave an exclusive report on the engagements Ms. Verheijen had with oil and gas investors alongside other stakeholders in the industry in September 2023, highlighting the fact that her office has partnered with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and concluded a series of strategic engagements with fifteen (15) leading international and independent Oil and Gas Companies operating in Nigeria including Chevron, Total, Shell, NAOC, Exxon Mobil, Seplat, Heirs Holdings, Waltersmith, First E&P, among others.   

Ms. Verheijen disclosed significant opportunities with an estimated $55.2 billion in investments projected by 2030, of which $13.5 billion is expected to be invested by these companies within twelve months from now.