Nigeria, OPEC’s sixth and the world’s eighth largest oil producer, provides about 2-3 million barrels of oil daily to the world. The country is not only a major oil exporter to the West but was equally seen by analysts as a secure alternative to the troubled Middle East oil supplies. But over the years the country’s oil supplies have been consistently disrupted by militant activities in the Niger Delta – the country’s oil producing areas.
At the heart of the problem is the conflicting notion of ‘responsibility’ in the industry. Dr Ibrahim Umar will present his findings on the nature of the tension within Nigeria’s petroleum industry at a Doctoral inaugural’s Lecture to be delivered on February 4th 2009.
Describing his work Dr Umar said: “My research, based on ethnographically-grounded analysis of ascriptions of responsibility amongst various stakeholders in the Nigerian oil industry, not only provides a balanced and fair hearing from the perspectives of all the major stakeholders, but also identifies the critical issues and provides recommendations on how to resolve the tension in order to ensure stability of oil supplies from the Africa’s most populous country to the West.”
The research also demonstrates the intricate web between past British colonial adventure and the struggle of an emerging nation within a capitalist sphere dominated by multinational corporations.
Previous disruptions of Nigeria’s oil supplies have led to a significant rise in global oil prices which affected not only the key players in the oil industry but also the ordinary motorist who had to pay more at the pump. Understanding and predicting the future stability of global oil supplies is very important at a point in time when the world is facing economic recession, oil prices fluctuating between $40-140 within months and emerging economies like India and China are dramatically increasing their oil consumption. Dr Umar’s doctoral research was sponsored by Nigeria’s Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).
The lecture takes place on Wednesday 4th February 2009, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm in Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3. It is free and open to the public.