The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed optimism about the demand and growth of crude oil, adding that it had begun the process to diversify its portfolio beyond oil assets to hedge future crisis and align with global energy transition.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, made this known on Wednesday while speaking at a virtual event, the Gulf Intelligence “Global” UAE Energy Forum 2021.
GMD noted that the country’s huge unharnessed gas resources as well as condensate could provide additional revenue that will address shortfall in the 2021 budget.
Despite optimism about oil demand, Kyari said he does not see oil demand recovering to pre-Covid19 levels before the end of 2022.
Even though oil prices are now at 11-month high, coronavirus-inspired lockdowns continue to drag on any hopes of an oil demand rebound, dampening oil price gains.
Kyari, also said gas would provide a more stable revenue for Nigeria.
With the Federal Government already preparing to borrow at least N4.87 trillion to finance its N13.58 trillion 2021 budget, Kyari said gas has proven to be a steady and reliable revenue stream, especially during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, adding that gas production and utilisation would remain a key priority for the Corporation in 2021.
He said: “NNPC has recognised the impact of energy transition and is currently diversifying its portfolio beyond oil assets through domestic gas utilisation projects, support of research and innovation, solar investments, biofuels, infrastructure and energy policy support.
“As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, NNPC group will continue to focus on increasing gas production, deepening the domestic utilisation of gas, increasing our capacity to export gas and investing in our non-oil and gas businesses.”