The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is devising new ways to attract more funding for operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to launch them into a new phase of exploration. The operators have been grappling with funding challenges which has cut down investment in oil exploration.

Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, said the corporation believed that attracting fresh funds to the industry would enable the country to achieve its target of raising reserves to 40 billion barrels in 2020. Baru, who spoke at the 36th Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Lagos, was represented by Dr Victor Adeniran, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NNPC Ventures.

“Currently, as a physical incentive, all exploration cost within the industry is expensed, this is a laudable and pro industry incentive from the government. The implications is that funding need to be incurred prior to taking benefits, hence the funding structure of exploration within the industry needs to be strengthened,” Baru said. Baru said the corporation was willing to work with partners and the industry in that regard.

Baru also said that funds could be raised from the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Local Content Fund or from the Central Bank of Nigeria, seismic exploration support fund for seismic survey in under explored areas of the country. The NNPC boss suggested that a revolving special fund could be created for the country’s hydrocarbon exploration on contributory funding basis.

Source: The Nation