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Digitalization Will Address Cyberattacks on Critical Infrastructures, Oil Spills, Explosions in Oil, Gas Sector – PETAN


By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme

The Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Nicolas Odinuwe, says adopting digital technologies will address the rising problems of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, oil spills, explosions and theft in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Odinuwe stated this while speaking in an exclusive interview with The Energy Republic at the side-line of the PETAN’s sixth edition of the Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) taking place on 22 – 24 February 2022 in Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos.

He said that the oil and gas industry is prone to diverse attacks and incidents which include cyber-attacks on critical assets of the country, oil spills, explosions, theft among others.

Recently, there has been an explosion on the Trinity Spirit FPSO vessel located at Ugborodo community in the Warri Southwest Council area of Delta State. The FPSO, with a capacity to process up to 22,000 barrels of oil per day in OML 108, guts fire during the early hours of Wednesday (1:00 AM), 2nd February 2022.

According to the operator, Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited (SEPCOL), rescue operations have been carried out successfully with investigations going on by Authorities to find out the cause of the explosion.   

Mr. Odinuwe said these issues have become major challenges in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and not much attention has been given to them till date, which has now brought the impacts of climate change to the fore.

He added that due to the volatility of oil and gas operations, closing the digital gap would help safeguard the country’s key economic infrastructure from diverse attacks.

Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Act, he said some Sections of the PIA addresses the agitations and militancy issues around host communities.

He added that the application of the law and management of allocated funds needs to be monitored to address the environmental impact of oil and gas operations in host communities.

In his words, “We know that there is still room for improvement and PETAN remains committed to our sustained role in the process till we are happy that the law guarantees sustainable prosperity.

“The provisions of the PIA should be carefully implemented. To drive it, there must be continued consultations with all stakeholders on gray areas and because the law is far-reaching in its remit and complex, our judiciary should be involved to help interpret, understand and apply the law to ensure proper management of funds such as the Host Communities Development Trust Fund (HCDTF) and others to protect the rights of all parties involved.

“On funding, we need to find a more equitable and efficient use of oil and gas revenues in producing regions by combining local content and corporate social responsibility (CSR) as catalysts for local development.

“However, considering how far we’ve come, we are not doing badly where we are at this point. It can only get better with time”.

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