from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – OLUSEGUN Obasanjo, former president of Africa’s biggest oil producer, Nigeria, has urged countries in the continent to adopt new technologies to extend the longevity of oil and gas.
Speaking at the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, Obasanjo said technology had vast potential to make the production of the commodities cheaper and enable them to go on for much longer than suggested by critics of the sector.
The former head of state believes oil-producing countries should work together and take advantage of new technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) that is part of the digitalisation transformation.
“All the technologies that are here now that were not available to us 15 years ago. They are there for use everywhere but are very important in the oil and gas industry,” Obasanjo told delegates.
“If we bring this into the industry I believe that the industry and the fear that we have now will all be a thing of the past. The next ten to 15 years may not be the way some people think.”
Obasanjo points to collaboration at national, regional, industrial and globally as the key to sustainability for the sector.
“Collaboration and taking advantage of technology… that would make the life of the oil industry much longer than reduce the fear that some people have that renewable energy resources will make oil and gas a thing of the past,” he said.
“If we can surmount this challenge, then the future of oil and gas cannot be dictated by anybody except by us; the producers and the investors. This will maintain oil and gas as an active resource for humanity.”
Overall, Obasanjo is optimistic about the future of the sector but is aware of the challenges.
“Whatever the challenges we are facing as an industry must be able to disaggregate and find the best instrument, the best institution or the best organisation to deal with the challenges,” he said.
Obasanjo was president of the West Africa country from the advent of democracy in 1999 to 2007.
– CAJ News