- ‘Nigeria Can Become Global Energy Powerhouse through Digitisation’
The Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Nigeria, Onyeche Tifase has said that Nigeria can become a global energy power house through a digital revolution in its oil and gas facilities.
Tifase said in a statement that digitalisation in the energy sector involves the better use of data to manage and control multiple operations, which will drive efficiencies in energy management and automation systems, declaring that workers in a digital industrial environment enjoy a massive increase in skills and productivity.
According to her, with potential $300 billion added to the African economy by 2026 through the adoption of digitalisation, Nigeria would receive a significant portion of that figure to advance its burgeoning oil and gas market.
However, she said that to make this a reality, the federal government should include a robust digitalisation policy and supporting legislation its Economic and Recovery Growth Plan 2017-2020.
The Siemens Nigeria boss said digital development is not confined to new oil and gas facilities.
“Existing oil and gas infrastructure, from pipeline to refinery, can easily be upgraded to digital automation. This means that Nigeria’s ageing oil refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna can be optimised with digitalisation. These facilities were built as early as 1978 but could be made far more efficient and productive, thereby significantly reducing Nigeria’s dependency on imported petroleum products. The benefits of this investment would be measured in billions of dollars. Effective integration of digital technologies could reduce capital expenditure in the oil and gas sector by up to 20 per cent, cut upstream operating costs by up to five per cent and downstream costs by up to 2.5 per cent,” she said.
Nigeria’s best approach will be a combination of local skills and knowledge, and the expertise and experience of a proven international partner able to deliver digital technologies and automation, together with traditional instrumentation and controls, across the entire energy value chain. This further supports backward integration of skills and technical competence in Nigeria’s limited skilled workforce.
According to her, recent PwC report suggests that by end-2019 Nigeria could assume the status of the largest producer of refined petroleum products in Africa.
“The projection sees Nigerian exports exceed 300,000 bpd by 2019 – up 350 per cent from 2016 production of 65,000 bpd. In this scenario, Nigeria becomes an international trading hub similar to Australia, Russia, Europe and the United States (US) Gulf Coast, while the entire West Africa region becomes energy self-sufficient by 2019, thus eliminating the need to source refined oil products from the US and Europe,” she said.
She said while Nigeria struggles with ongoing vandalism of its oil and gas infrastructure, with a staggering financial impact, technology is a significant part of the solution to this challenge, as it enables real-time monitoring of infrastructure and quicker incident responses.