Oil and gas industry leaders
Oil and gas industry leaders during a panel session at the conference

Chief executives of multinationals in the oil and gas industry have identified achieving security and safety of workers and assets as the greatest challenge bedevilling oil production in Nigeria.

They stated this during a high level panel of industry leaders at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Jeff Ewing, said that the oil and gas industry would experience rapid growth if security and safety could be guaranteed.

He said, “The protection of people working is very critical. There is the need to put up bright policies in place to boost the security.’’

Also speaking, Country Chairman and Managing Director, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor lamented that maintaining a secure working environment during deep water projects posed a serious challenge.

According to him, the future of deep water projects could be seriously impaired if the security of vessels could not be guaranteed.

“The future of the deep water projects worries me and the most concern is that Nigeria is not fast in taking decision and because of this, capitals are going to other countries,’’ Okunbor noted.

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The Executive Director, Total Plc, Mr Patrick Olinma, stated that safety of its staff as well as the company’s assets remained a cause for concern to the company’s management.

He affirmed that production in the sector would be greatly boosted if security and safety could be assured.

Olinma appealed for cooperation between the major stakeholders to effectively address the challenge of insecurity plaguing the sector.

Corroborating the stance of the oil majors, the Chief Operating Officer Upstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Bello Rabiu, said, “Just last week, we had a problem in Warri.

“Kidnapping, vandalism, all these things have negative impact on production, we need to work collectively to find a lasting solution to all these problems.”

Rabiu, who said that no business could operate under unfavourable environment, tasked stakeholders to ensure safety to help boost production.

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