French energy giant TotalEnergies has reaffirmed its dedication to business interests in Nigeria, solidifying its commitment through a high-profile meeting between its CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, and Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, in Abuja on Monday.
TotalEnergies announced the formalization of a cooperation agreement with Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, NNPC Ltd, focusing on methane detection and measurement campaigns. The company plans to utilize its cutting-edge AUSEA technology, employing advanced drone systems to monitor oil and gas facilities throughout Nigeria.
President Tinubu’s office released a statement outlining the significant investment TotalEnergies is set to make, stating, “TotalEnergies has committed to invest $6 billion in the coming years.” Pouyanne emphasized the company’s focus on offshore oil projects and gas production across diverse terrains.
This move follows President Tinubu’s discussions with other major oil players, including Shell and Exxon Mobil, as part of a broader initiative to attract capital to Nigeria, Africa’s leading energy producer.
Nigeria, boasting the largest economy in Africa, has faced challenges in its oil sector, witnessing a decline in output over the years due to large-scale theft and sabotage. However, recent months have shown a positive trend, particularly in offshore production, which is less susceptible to attacks.
President Tinubu has expressed his commitment to eliminating “anti-investment impediments in the oil and gas industry” and has announced plans to provide incentives to producers to enhance gas output.
Backstory: A Surge in Investments
TotalEnergies’ pledge of $6 billion mirrors a similar commitment from Shell, which recently vowed to invest $5 billion in Nigeria’s deep-water project at Bonga North. Olu Verheijen, the special adviser to the President on Energy, announced securing a substantial $13 billion in investments in the oil and gas sector from international oil companies (IOCs) like Shell and ExxonMobil.
Nigeria’s oil sector has witnessed divestments from major players in recent times, particularly from onshore fields into deep-water projects, citing concerns such as insecurity and maturing wells. Since his inauguration, President Tinubu has been actively addressing issues leading to divestments, not only in the oil sector but across all sectors of the economy.