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FG Urges UAE to Invest in Renewal of Aging Oil Pipelines

The Federal Government has called on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to invest in the renewal and reconstruction of Nigeria’s over 50-year-old oil pipelines. This appeal was made on Monday by the Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, during a meeting in Abuja with a UAE delegation led by Ambassador Salem Al Shamsi.

Lokpobiri highlighted the significant investment opportunities in Nigeria, particularly in renewing the aging oil pipeline infrastructure, which has been in place since the discovery of oil in the 1950s. He stressed that many of these pipelines, essential for transporting crude oil to export terminals, have exceeded their lifespans and are in urgent need of replacement.

“This country has enormous investment opportunities. Our pipelines need renewal. They have been there for over 50 years since Nigeria found oil in commercial quantities in 1956/1958,” Lokpobiri stated. He invited UAE investors to participate in these projects, assuring them of attractive investment models where they could recoup their investments through transportation fees.

Lokpobiri also discussed Nigeria’s vast gas reserves, noting that the country’s gas reserves could potentially double or triple from the currently recorded 208 trillion cubic feet. He reiterated the government’s commitment to resuming drilling campaigns to increase oil and gas discoveries, liberalizing processes to attract investments, and minimizing bureaucratic delays.

Reflecting on Nigeria’s commitment to oil exploration, Lokpobiri said, “What we are emphasizing is that oil and gas can be explored in a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable way. Abandoning it is not a solution, as no energy source has ever been completely abandoned historically.”

Lokpobiri assured the UAE delegation of Nigeria’s dedication to enhancing the strategic relationship between the two countries, especially in the context of their OPEC membership. He acknowledged the UAE’s financial capacity to invest in Nigeria’s oil sector, emphasizing the mutual benefits such investments would bring.

In response, Ambassador Al Shamsi expressed the UAE’s commitment to working with Nigeria to address the concerns raised and to improve bilateral relations that have spanned over 50 years. He assured that the UAE takes Nigeria’s investment opportunities seriously and is eager to enhance cooperation.

Additionally, the Federal Government is addressing the aging petroleum products pipeline network. On March 29, 2024, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Mele Kyari, announced plans to replace over 5,000km of pipelines within three years through a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) process.

The meeting underscored the shared commitment of Nigeria and the UAE to continue oil exploration while adhering to greener and more sustainable practices. Both countries aim to create investment opportunities to finance their energy transitions and enhance their strategic partnership.

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