Fossil Fuel won’t go away in the next 100 years-Prof Ibe



    Fossil Fuel will continue to become useful and relevant in Energy Value Chain even beyond 100 years to come. This is because the Infrastructure for the so called Renewable Energy will be drawn from the Fossil Fuel and also the Renewable Energy cannot power Industrialization or have the capacity to serve the Energy demand for Industrial use. The Infrastructure is not there yet.

    So also the battery will become waste when it dies. Total reliance on Renewable Energy may lead to Energy Crisis as it takes at least Four hours to charge vehicle batteries. This may lead a break while on a Journey.

    Chidi Ibe, a Professor of Oceanography and the Blue economy/Industry Expert (Energy, Environment & Climate Change made this known last week  at the 12 Emmanuel Egbogah Lagacy Lecture Series held at Emerald Energy Institute, University of Port Harcourt, River State, Nigeria.

    Professor Ibe who was the Key Note speaker at the Legacy Lecture Series in hounour of Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah quoted Nenad Miljkovic, a Professor of mechanical science & engineering at UIUC.  “The reality is that fossil fuels aren’t going away for at least 100 years,”  Advocating for greater focus on CCUS Technologies, He said  “A lot of CO2 is going to be emitted before we get to a place where we can lean on Renewables.

    “Further, explained the minister, when the UK has reached net zero in 2050, as it is legally obligated to do, it’s estimated that around a quarter of the country’s energy needs will still come from oil and gas.

    He said that officials, collectively, in the UK government have failed to tell the people the story of dependence on oil and gas & efforts to decarbonize oil & gas. Nor has anyone discussed the fact that the Energy Industry, is One Industry. “It doesn’t need to be divided into sheep or goats,” emphasized Stuart. “It isn’t divided between the blessed and the damned, the green and the filthy oil and gas. It is one industry.”

    “Referring to the potential to exploit new and emerging technologies, such as hydrogen production, carbon capture usage and storage, offshore wind,He also made note that it is traditional oil and gas companies that are going to deliver these projects. “It is, in fact, the oil and gas industry’s expertise, the balance sheets, the engineering, the subsea capabilities that makes net zero possible,” said Stuart accurately.

    “WHY then are we being told to ditch this petroleum under our belt because it is damned & filthy and to leap into the other world because it is clean and safe without anyone showing us any credible path to achieving this Eldorado? Who will drive the adoption of Renewable technologies for us if we prematurely snuff out our Petroleum Industry?  Is it going to be another leap in the dark?  Spurred by the subtle threat that if we don’t jump willingly, we will be pushed ? Time to Dare? He asked.

    Energy according to him plays a critical role in driving economic growth. “Thus Energy Transition must not compromise energy supply reliability, what we have we must hold! For Petroleum dependent economies, a whole sale embrace of the Global Energy Transition with all its willy-nilly fixed limits and deadlines, will be an EMBRACE OF DEATH”, he maintained.

    So, when African Leaders gathered in Nairobi 4-6 September’23 ostensibly to chart a new course for climate action where Africa is part of the solution and not a Victim but ended up accepting in the pre-ambular part their Resolution(para 5 of Nairobi Declaration) that:  Climate Change Is The Greatest Single Most Important Issue Confronting Humanity—-They had been cued to sing someone else’s song – • Where do they place Institutional Poverty, Hunger, Disease and unending conflicts linked to gross underdevelopment engineered by Global geopolitics to pin the Continent down? He asked.

    “That song of African Leaders in Nairobi before they flipped out their begging bowls for Aid says:  Our Climate Can’t Afford Any New Fossil Fuel Development; So Keep It In The Ground. And at a time when almost every African country has joined or has every prospect of joining the petroleum producers club with all the promises that this new status portends for the resurgence of National economies in Africa”, he pointed out.

    He maintained that this is the time to call a spade a spade and this is moment of reflection

    “Given the evolving realities about the continued viability of Petroleum and the evident flip flops of our co-Travelers in the Global Energy Transition journey, is there a necessity for Developing Countries and Particularly African Countries and AOSIS to pause and reflect on ways to navigate the Energy Trilemma of Energy Security, Energy Affordability and Energy Sustainability without necessarily being victims of a herd mentality and strapped to the much vaunted single Track Global Energy Transition Model? • The danger of being left in a lurch is real ! There is nothing immutable in a Treaty – Amendments normal.

    Expect Distractions in the path of this resolve – The realities of Geopolitics in a polarized world demand that Africa should watch her flanks.

    “Recently, Increasing calls out of global think tanks to developing countries to embark on a twin transition from petroleum to the so called mineral energy materials(MEM’s) like cobalt, nickel, copper,—) as export substitution for their economies, knowing that it takes 5-25 yrs to set up a viable minerals mining industry( after identification of deposits) so it is “pie in the sky” & it is diversionary – pure and simple”, he stressed.

    “In the 1980s when the Asian Countries where steaming ahead, in their industrialization plans, there was a slight slump in global economy and the soothsayers predicted a decline in the rate of growth in intensity of solid minerals raw material use, which led to the coining of the term,”DEMATERIALIZATION” It Never Happened . And the Asian Countries who held their nerve and resolve and rather increased their investments went on to smile all the way to the Bank and put their countries on a solid path to sustainable industrial development. That is why they are called the present day Asian Tigers.

    “Following the prediction in 1956 of USA geophysicist, Marion King Hubert by which global crude oil production will hit its maximum rate after which production will follow a bell shaped curve & then start to decline irredeemably.  By this prediction USA petroleum extraction was to peak btwn 1965-1971. Worse predictions for other regions. It never happened !  it lured a lot of developing countries with potential petroleum reserves into a situation of “ to be or not to be!”  clear opportunities for development were lost! He noted.

    Speaking about the Paris Summit for a New Global Financial Pact 22- 23 June ‘23

    Arguing that there is no way we will meet d 1.5 degrees target by 2030 without a carbon price floor: Poorer countries pay less, Middle income countries more Richer countries have the highest price, created a new instrument:– for first time in the history of IMF – long term affordable financing with a 20 year repayment period and 10 1/2 yr grace period. Beware of the ides of March ! he warned.

    He stated that Nigeria is in a Vantage Position, so Nigeria, with a developed Petroleum Industry can take the lead in changing the status quo n enlist the AU now that it has been granted G-20 Membership – Test the waters !

    “But it must first navigate to a safe operating space. Nigeria must deliberately , aggressively and impactfully reposition its petroleum industry including a reasoned diversification of its value chains & rational pursuit of the National Gas Policy’, he stressed.

    Proffering solution to the campaign he maintained first thing should be done first so there is need to ramp up production and build up Reserves of Oil & Gas.  Reduce /bbl production cost – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait @ 11usd but Nigeria 25-35 usd, build internal refining capacity so no one holds the country to ransom – 1.3 mbbl/day at full blast.  Build industrial /manufacturing capacity to use oil & gas as feed stock. Intensify gas to power schemes; maximize gas export/ domestic use- transportation, domestic purposes, etc  How about Methanol plants etc No shortage of possibilities.

    it took Singapore only 30 years to transition from third world to first world. Malaysia— similar but not exact History. Rwanda – yesterday, genocide; Today, Shining City on the Hill. It is doable! He maintained.

    Speaking further on Fund as a problem, he said, “Out of COP 26 in Glasgow , a coalition of countries, companies and financial institutions have ringed fenced international investment funds( approx. 130trn) for the energy industry in favour of renewable energies”.

    Talking about the A Window of Opportunity, he said, Private equity firms are estimated to have invested more than $1tn in the energy industry since 2010 mostly in fossil fuels which underlines where the net zero financing battle is heading next.  I would say , target those funds & if need be, swoop on the Sovereign Wealth Fund. It is created for crunch times like this when new directions become imperative & no help from elsewhere!”, he opined.

    “Is it time to review this “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” model of the Global Energy Transition? Is it time for a Reset?  Is this as good a time as any for Nigeria, as the Big Boy of African Geopolitics, to galvanize the Continent to interrogate this global imposition of a monolithic strategy for a livable world and in so doing safeguard our collective future?  So that our children and our children’s children would be able to look back at such intervention in history with pride and say, “That was our finest hour”


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