A professor of Petroleum Geology/Environmental Geology, Olugbenga Ehinola has called on the Federal Government to invest in unconventional hydrocarbon, which is an alternative source of oil from rocks.
He made the call at the University of Ibadan while delivering a speech at the institution’s 467th inaugural lecture tagged, “On the search of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources of Nigeria Basins”.
Professor Ehinola said unconventional hydrocarbon resources which are sustainable and environmental friendly are in abundance across the country, and if effectively tapped they would serve as reliable alternative sources for petroleum and gas and it would also aid production of energy.
“Unconventional petroleum exploration targets are getting more attention due to its huge renewable potential and gas storage properties. The accessibility and affordability of energy could boost our industrial growth and economic development in Nigeria; hence, there is need for a paradigm shift towards unconventional petroleum exploration in the Nigerian sedimentary basins”.
He explained that many countries that do not even produce crude oil like Jordan are among the top twenty producers of oil through unconventional hydrocarbon resources leaving Nigeria out whereas, Nigeria is the twelfth among crude oil producing countries of the world.
Professor Ehinola who is the Head, Geology Department of the institution noted that the government should look inward as the new method of sourcing oil from rock was responsible for the crash in crude oil price globally, which plunged Nigeria to recession.
“Nigeria’s economy is a type that is crude oil dependant and most of the crude oil exported is sourced from Nigeria Delta Basin. The fear of depletion and conflict arising from environmental consideration as well as innovative technological advancement is presently causing a shift. Reliance on conventional hydrocarbon is getting unsustainable as unconventional hydrocarbon production crashed the crude oil price globally and plunged Nigeria into recession. Energy focus for Nigeria by 2050 will be from alternative energy sources”.
Professor Ehinola also advocated for the establishment of a National Unconventional Resources Technology Centre in all the six geo-political zones of the country for research, development and production of oil sourced from rock.
He called for the review of Geoscience curriculum to accommodate unconventional hydrocarbon resources as part of Petroleum Geosciences
and Petroleum Engineering programmes.
The don enjoined relevant agencies to ensure thorough supervision of hand-dug wells as most according to his research are cited close to road, drainage system, sewage tanks and latrines as poor quality of water gotten is responsible for many water borne-diseases.
“Most of the hand-dug wells sampled are in bad conditions. The lack of planning and awkward siting of wells close to roads, drainage system, sewage tanks and latrines have aggravated the level of contamination especially in most wells in which there is no lining. Information from nearby hospitals revealed that bacteria diseases (Cholera, Typhoid) and viral diseases (Polio and Hepatitis), parasite disease (Teniasis) and fungi diseases are common in the study area”.
Professor Ehinola joined the service of University of Ibadan in 1995 as an Assistant Lecturer, he was promoted to Lecturer II in 1999, Lecturer I in 2002, Senior Lecturer in 2005, Reader in 2009 and became a professor in 2012.
He has over one hundred publications and has successfully supervised 7 PhD thesis, 2 MPhil Dissertations, 50 M.Sc and several B.Sc projects.
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