With some international oil companies (IOCs) already divesting from Nigeria’s onshore oil locations, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says the country’s oil and gas sector remains the most ideal investment destination at the moment.
Sylva was speaking with the Turkish Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alpersen Bayraktar, during a bilateral meeting on the side-lines of the ongoing Ceraweek event in Houston, Texas on Monday.
The Minister said the Nigerian government was open to fresh onshore and natural gas investments in the country by the Turkish government.
He said with divestment of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, ExxonMobil Corporation and other IOCs still planning to follow, Nigeria was open to more Turkish investments in the hydrocarbon sector.
“We are looking at the possibilities of Turkey taking interests in more investments in Nigeria, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector,” Sylva told the Turkish minister.
“Now that IOCs like Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, ExxonMobil Corporation and others are planning to divest from some of Nigeria’s onshore assets, more investments in that sector would be a great opportunity for Turkey to expand its investments interest in Nigeria,” he said.
Sylva assured Bayraktar of good returns on investment in Nigeria, stressing that despite plans by the IOCs to divests from Onshore assets, the companies were ramping up profits from offshore assets in the country, a sign that the Nigeria investment environment “is still the desired investment destination in Africa”.
The cooperation between Nigeria and Turkey, Sylva said, was very significant, assuring that the Federal Government was willing to extend its relationship with Turkey in energy and other areas of bilateral trade.
With the recent passage of the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which has strengthened the legal, fiscal, and regulatory framework in the oil and gas industry, the Minister said Nigeria has made investments in the oil and gas sector of the economy more attractive to potential investors.
He called on the deputy minister to encourage Turkish investors to come to Nigeria to participate in the new opportunities offered by the exit of the IOCs, to consolidate the bilateral relations between both countries.
He said Nigeria was also opened for Turkey investors taking up investments in Greenfield assets, like refineries and Petrochemical industries, noting that the country was prepared to engage in discussions on government-to-government basis to achieve the desired results.
On his part, Bayraktar, sort his Nigerian counterpart’s support to get Turkey to be part of the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sector, adding that Turkey was prepared to shore up investments in the area of natural gas development in Nigeria if given the opportunity.