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Expert tasks academia, graduates on renewable energy

Worried by the negative impact of green house gases on the environment, Mr Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), on Monday tasked Nigerian academia and graduates to build low carbon technologies.

Okunbor, delivering the 51st Founder’s Day Lecture of the University of Benin, said such technologies would lead Nigeria into the emerging decades where renewable energy takes a more prominent role in the energy mix.

The lecture was entitled “The Global Energy Transformation and the Imperative for Nigeria”.

Going by latest estimates from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), the guest lecturer claimed that Nigeria has around 202 trillion cubic feet of proven gas and around 600 cubic feet of unproven reserves.

He, however, noted that as a global company, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant is approaching green house gas emissions reductions from multiple angles.

He said that notwithstanding the fact that Nigeria is well positioned to ride the wave of the current energy transition with its abundant natural fossil fuels and renewable energy, the country still needs to move with a sense of urgency and a clear sense of direction.

The main green house gases in the atmosphere, the managing director said water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.

He added, however, that carbon dioxide was the primary greenhouse gas produced when fossil fuels are burnt.

Okunbor called the elimination of routine flaring, which he said was negatively impacting the environment.

He also advocated a shift to natural gas and growing the nation’s gas share to 55 per cent of hydrocarbon production as well as a low carbon power through an increase in renewable energy power supply.

“As a company, we are clear that while the energy transition brings risks, it also brings commercial opportunities and enables us to build on our positive contributions to society.
“Our comprehensive energy transition strategy therefore seeks to reduce those risks while enhancing our ability to profitability lead as the world transition to an energy that is aligned with the goal of the Paris Agreement.”

“Shell companies are very clear on the potential that gas holds to accelerate industrial and economic growth in Nigeria and heavily invested here, across the entire value chain of gas upstream, midstream and downstream,” he said.

Okunbor added that the company is also targeting the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere through Carbon Capture and storage facilities.

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Besides, he said the firm is also engaging in aforestation and tree-planting to take away carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In his remark, the Chancellor of the University, Prof. James Ayatse, who is the Tor Tiv, solicited the cooperation of staff with the management of the institution led by Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami. (NAN)

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