The Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Mr Femi Ajayi, on Wednesday reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to funding research in oil and gas and related sectors for sustainable development.
Ajayi gave the assurance in an address at the 2012/2013 PTDF Oil and Gas Research Grant Competition Peer Review in Abuja.
He said that the Fund was committed to genuine collaboration and linkage programmes that would support Nigeria’s participation in domesticating solutions to problems in the petroleum and related sectors of the economy.
“In view of the critical challenges emerging in the sector, PTDF is committed to funding research for sustainable development in the country,” he stated.
Ajayi said that the agency provided scholarships to students at undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral degrees levels in Nigeria and overseas, adding that it had also trained qualified technocrats for upstream, mid and downstream sectors.
According to him, from 2011 to 2013, 351 graduates were trained locally in Nigeria, 761 scholars graduated with M.Sc in refining and petrochemical related disciplines in overseas institutions.
He added that 116 students were trained to doctorate degree level in various disciplines.
On the peer review research, he said that part of the key issues for discussion in the exercise was to critique the work done by researchers in the past one year.
Ajayi said that the exercise, which was the fifth in the series, had five thematic areas of research interest carefully crafted for the growth of the oil and gas industry.
According to him, researches are being mobilised on oil degrading micro-organisms in local cellulosic materials for rapid development in bio-remediation of petroleum contaminated soil.
“Others researches include development of biofuel technology for diagnosing and remediating problems associated with oil field, reservoirs souring, corrosion in the petroleum industry, development of biofuel technology from locally-sourced cellulosic materials,” he said.
Dr Robert Ebewele, Chairman of the Oil and Gas Research Grant Competition Peer Review Research Steering Committee, said that the first set of researches was awarded in 2008.
“What we are doing today is that people who were selected by the steering committee in 2012 will present their research, while people brought from different areas will critique the work.
“This will enable the researchers to get more information and if there is something that is not right about the researches they will find out.
“It is a two-year cycle, after that, if they find out that it requires more researches to be done, the Fund will now give them some time,” he said.