The Nigerian oil and gas industry has enormous potentials evolving on a daily basis, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu said late on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, the country’s capital city, the minister said the government was putting in place modalities to increase the scope of its earnings in the industry.

Though the operating environment was tough, Kachikwu said, the government was looking at areas it could provide incentives to boost returns for investors, to attract more investors into the industry.

According to him, the environment was improving, adding that companies that had suspended their big projects were beginning to look at the potentials of reviving them.

Kachikwu told his audience that the government was currently conducting a study to determine reasons why only nine marginal oil fields awarded were involved in production out of the 24 awarded over a decade ago.

He said the essence of the investigation was to determine factors preventing the oil fields from producing.

This, he said, was designed also advance the Nigerian oil industry forward.

“Financing is key. We are still yet to develop a model that enables local players to access financing very easily,” he added.

Kachikwu assured that the forthcoming marginal oil field bid rounds would be transparent and would ensure that oil producing communities not just participated in the process, but also got the most advantage from the oil fields.

The minister disclosed that the Ministry of Petroleum was developing models that would enable the president to choose what he wanted to do and how he wanted to go about the marginal fields’ bid round.

Kachikwu also called for a whittling down of the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, in favor of a stronger industry regulator. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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