ICT can transform energy sector – Expert

PHILIP CLEMENT, ABUJA

Former Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Rabiu Suleiman, has called for higher investment in Information and Communications Technology to fully harness the huge economic potential in the petroleum sector.

The expert, however, listed insecurity as the major challenge facing the industry, followed by economic recession and the Coronavirus Disease that almost grounded the world economy.

His words, “Many countries passed through the recession. There was a lowering of oil reserves because production was halted in some countries and, therefore, production became low. There are other challenges related to high production cost.

“If you do a comparative analysis between Nigeria and other countries, cost of production per barrel in Nigeria is significantly very high.

It went as high as $32 per barrel and crude oil price at the international market went as low as $9/barrel. But quickly, it went up to $140/barrel later and then crashed to below zero per cent during COVID-19.”

Pointing out that the 2021 edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, which started on June 6, 2021, in Abuja, provides a great opportunity for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, with the focus on leveraging ICT to transform the sector, Suleiman said, “ICT plays a significant role in optimisation, efficiency and technological advancement.

“The most sensitive equipment in the process plans in the oil and gas industry are the programmable logic controllers, online analysers and other instruments that control process, temperature, flows and pressure. So, if a company such as Huawei focuses on optimisation, efficiency, control and improvement, maximisation of production will be very good.”

According to him, ICT is also key insecurity and one can easily integrate various ICT components terms to monitor volume flows, temperature, attack, corrosion and contamination, communication.

“ICT has proven to be useful across industries. I believe it is time for the oil and gas industry to embrace more ICT. ICT innovations are coming up to help tackle most of the challenges in the industry. I know Huawei Technologies has been coming up with some new solutions for the petroleum industry,” he added.

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