Nigeria and the U.S. on Monday restated commitment to further strengthen partnership in the oil and gas industry to ensure energy security and transition.
This decision was reached in Abuja when Amb. Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (Energy), and his team visited Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd).
The team is in Nigeria to explore more opportunities in the areas of emerging technologies, investments, finance, carbon management, gas development and utilisation among others to attain energy security and transition.
Speaking, Kyari lauded the U.S. for progressing its interventions in Nigeria, particularly in the oil and gas industry towards supporting Nigeria’s efforts to reduce emissions and create the right framework in knowledge and material support.
He expressed appreciation for the support the U.S. rendered to Nigeria when it was making progress to bring the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) into place.
“And I am also aware that several supports are coming our way to increase our capacity to produce green energy in Nigeria as we progress towards enhancing gas development and penetration which is much cleaner for the environment.
“With this development, there is a clear indication that Nigeria is moving towards net zero emission by 2060,” he said.
Also speaking, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who expressed satisfaction with the team’s visit, described U.S. as a strong partner in Nigeria’s energy transition agenda.
“His Excellency, Ambassador Pyatt, is here with us to further the course of our engagements with the U.S. in our collaboration to ensure a safer and healthier world and greener environment.”
Aduda emphasised that Nigeria and the U.S. were working round the clock and very closely to ensure a better future globally.
Pyatt, who is the head of U.S. Bureau of Energy Resources (BER), in his remark, said the U.S. team’s presence was a reflection of U.S. President, Joe Biden, and the U.S. Government’s commitment to its partnership with Nigeria.
“You have to make a decision about how you need to continue to develop your resources in a way that will deliver benefits to the citizens of this country and also protect our shared environment,” he said.
Pyatt said the 2022 African Energy Summit reflected Biden’s directions to lean into its partnerships with Africa and to identify opportunities to further grow cooperation between American Companies, the American government and Nigerian our counterparts.
He said the energy transition and the rapid shift to more sustainable sources of energy and the emergence of technologies to reduce carbon intensity of the fossil fuel being used, were really bordering issues.
He said that Russia, having marginalised itself through its actions with Ukraine and the sanctions that followed and the implications for the global market, called for a tremendous opportunity.
“I am very proud of the work that the U.S. Bureau of Energy Resources (BER) has done jointly with NNPC Ltd, specifically in the area of carbon management.
“We are committed to continuing that partnership, and in just the next few weeks we will have a team back here to continue exploring opportunities in that area,” he said.
Pyatt said it would key into investment, recognising the fact that President Bola Tinubu had offered to unlock new growth and interest from foreign investors, including significantly the American companies.
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), said the commission which was responsible for regulating upstream technical and commercial activities was working towards zero emission attainment.
Komolafe, who also sought U.S. cooperation and support in Nigerian upstream programmes, said the commission was making effort to ensure that the development of hydrocarbon was done in a responsible and cleaner manner.
He said in trying to ensure cleaner environment, the commission was progressing in Nigerian Gas Commercialisation Programme, a major climate action commitment of Nigeria towards decarbonising the environment.
Mr Ahmed Farouk, Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), also said the authority was focused on emission reduction and decarbonisation, thereby urged the bureau to assist in capacity building and knowledge sharing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that U.S. Climate Envoy, John Kerry, had in 2022 visited Nigeria and met former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, GCEO and other key players on climate change and energy transition.