Nigeria petroleum club: lessons from China, Worries about US policies

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Nigeria has launched a Petroleum Club which aims at making its body Chief Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters, and creating jobs by making sure that some of the most important materials needed in the oil and gas industry are manufactured in the country.

The petroleum club which is also formed to provide an ideal forum for professionals in the oil and gas sector to socialize and exchange ideas is the first of its kind in sub-regional Africa.

During the launching event, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, expressed optimism that the synergy to be created in the Petroleum Club would benefit the country’s oil industry. He also stressed that for the country to survive this present situation, it must continue production and use the resources to develop other sectors of the economy.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan during his speech at the launching of the Petroleum Club stated that the country needed to ensure that most of the inputs used in oil and gas production are manufactured in Nigeria, if the country must enjoy maximum benefits from its oil resources.

To make his point, the Vice president went on to say: “When I was a Deputy Governor in 2000, I led a delegation of Bayelsa State to China. We were looking for investors, who would come to invest in the State and we visited some of the oil cities, Chinese names are very difficult, let me not bite my tongue. But in one of the main oil cities we visited, they took us round to their archives. They showed us the evolution of the oil industry, how they started”.

“They told us that oil was discovered in China in 1958, while it was discovered in Nigeria in 1956. We started to export oil in 1958. But at that year 2000, when I went to China with Bayelsa State delegation, more than 70 per cent of what they required to produce oil was being produced in China. Nigeria , where oil was discovered two years earlier, as at 2000, I don’t know what was probably produced in the country. This show that probably, those people who have been in charge of affairs of government and the actors in the oil and gas industry, probably, don’t really want us to move,” The Vice President said.

However, the newly found Petroleum Club is worried that the energy policies pursued by President Barack Obama’s administration would definitely affect Nigeria ‘s oil and gas industry. In acknowledgement of the claim, Mr. Ajumogobia noted that President Obama’s focus on clean fuel would adversely affect Nigeria’s oil sector because a notable amount of Nigeria’s crude oil is exported to the United States.

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