- Indigenous Firms Must Rise to the Challenge
The Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, has reaffirmed Africa’s position as an exciting prospect for investors irrespective of the current clime of low oil prices.
Speaking as a panellist on the topic: ‘Resilience of the Oil and Gas Industry: An African Perspective’, at the recently concluded Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Tinubu said, “We expect a soft market will persist for longer than we anticipated and indigenous companies, such as Oando, need to now focus on areas that the multinationals have avoided.”
Players within the continent have battled severe economic and security challenges as reduced rig counts, delayed and cancelled projects, vandalism, and depreciating export revenues have plagued the industry.
Tinubu explained that with hundreds of million dollars lost due to pipeline shut-ins since the first quarter of this year, $6bn lost to crude oil theft and vandalism, and 3,000 pipeline points vandalised in under a year, it was imperative that Nigeria and other countries should proffer “immediate solutions and turn challenges into opportunities.”
“At the moment, the Nigerian government is working to drive supply in a more efficient manner. However, we must also work with a long term view to reduce our heavy dependence on oil by undergoing an energy transformation; but for this to occur, we require a tide of reforms, investments and innovation to drive speedy market recovery,” the Oando boss added.
The oil industry is in its deepest downturn since the 1990s. While prices have recovered marginally a few times over the last year, the industry-wide belief remains that oil prices will not return to $90 or $100 a barrel for another few years.
Against this backdrop, the President and CEO, Qatar Petroleum, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, advised oil producers to “invest heavily in the downturn to ensure you are successful in the long term.”