Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria must embrace new technologies  -FUTA Don

By Bukola Olamona
A Professor of Exploration Geophysics at the Federal University of technology, Akure (FUTA) Mary Taiwo Olowokere who is also the first and only female Shell Professor of Geophysics in Africa has observed that the exploration and exploitation of crude oil and gas in Nigeria have continued to come under severe strain with attendant negative effect on the economy and the environment.

 She therefore called for utilization of new trends and ideas in hydrocarbon exploration and proper adjustment of hydrocarbon exploration strategies to discover more oil-gas fields to guarantee energy security in Nigeria. She stated this while delivering the 101st inaugural lecture of the University titled: Innovation and technology in Petroleum Geophysics:

A paradigm shift to the new exploration frontiers. She urged the industry and the academia to improve on technical integration and concepts that originate along the boundaries of different technical disciplines.

To achieve this, she recommended an adaptation of curricula to attain more significant skills, a change of teaching methods to reorient education towards becoming more practical, and development of skills and competencies in the downstream sector.

Admonishing the oil and gas industry, Olowokere said exploration companies must accept new technology at a faster pace to enhance accelerated technology development.

Reviewing the performance of Oil Gas industry, she said the 21st century Oil and Gas industry is driven by innovation and technology.

This has dramatically altered the manner in which oil and gas resources are identified, developed and produced.

 She however assured that emerging technologies in robotics and automation have the potential to improve operations in the industry by reducing costs and increasing safety, efficiency and speed in obtaining products from the challenging conventional and non-traditional sources.

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Professor Olowokere further listed the impact of innovation and technology in the petroleum industry to include cost reduction and time saving, efficiency gains and sustainable growth.

She also said that emerging technologies in petroleum exploration and production will reduce hazard and increase company’s revenues.

“Most of the oil and gas activities in the past have traditionally relied on manual, expensive and risky methods.

Carrying out most of the operations require expensive, bulky and slow technologies in addition to specialized skills and equipment.

Some of these expose the workers to several safety hazards such as toxic gases, falling, fire, accidents and others.

 The oil and gas specialists must be highly trained, insured and accommodated whenever they go out in the field. The older methods increase the operational costs, hence reducing the company’s revenue” she added

Professor Olowokere, a member of several professional bodies (Iocal and international) who has attracted several donations to the department of Geophysics from local and foreign organizations also called for greater government support for academic institution.

 She said such support will ensure availability of highly trained researchers and staff who will guide the country to develop technologically.

Olowokere, a research consultant to Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and external examiner for post graduate in Geophysics programme to many Nigerian Universities called for a change in teaching methods to become more practical through application of experimental learning approaches and skill development.

 She also advocated a geophysics solution to global warming being experienced worldwide. Professor Olowokere said the Digital Images of our planet, inside and out come from the digital processing methods originated in geophysics.

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.Introducing the lecturer, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape who chaired the event described her as a thorough bred and brilliant academic who has added value to her field. He acknowledged her immense contributions to the development of the university by attracting several donations to the institution.

The lecture attracted top notch from the academic, oil and gas and traditional institutions.

Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria must embrace new technologies  -FUTA Don

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