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Digitalisation pivotal to Nigeria oil and gas dominance

oil and gas summitLAGOS – NIGERIA could propel itself to a global energy powerhouse by embracing a digital revolution in its oil and gas facilities, an expert has said.
Onyeche Tifase, Siemens Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, said this would lift the West African country from the shadows of persistent underperformance.
“This will be a catalyst for industrialisation and growth in many other economic sectors too,” Tifase added.
Digitalisation in the energy sector involves the better use of data to manage and control multiple operations.
It drives efficiencies in energy management and automation systems.
“Importantly, workers in a digital industrial environment enjoy a massive increase in skills and productivity,” Tifase said.
The expert pointed out digital development was not confined to new oil and gas facilities.
Existing oil and gas infrastructure, from pipeline to refinery, can easily be upgraded to digital automation.
“This means that Nigeria’s ageing oil refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna can be optimized with digitalization,” Tifase explained.
These facilities were built as early as 1978 but could be made far more efficient and productive, thereby significantly reducing Nigeria’s dependency on imported petroleum products.
“The benefits of this investment would be measured in billions of dollars,” Tifase said.
Despite dwindling crude oil sales to the West, demand for Nigeria’s crude oil is set to rise dramatically. The region annually consumes 22 billion litres of petrol, and Nigeria’s domestic market accounts for 17 billion of those litres, yet the country still imports around 80 percent of this energy.
With 37.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Nigeria could easily meet this demand locally through modernisation and continued exploration.
The country’s refining capabilities are currently underperforming due to lack of maintenance and underinvestment in technology.
Tifase said Nigeria should include a robust digitalization policy and supporting legislation in connection to its Economic and Recovery Growth Plan 2017-2020.
“One of its key priorities is to ensure power and petroleum product efficiency, which can only be achieved through a digital transition in the oil and gas sector.”

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