Equipping the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) persistent governance challenges have both hampered Nigeria’s oil sector development and deprived the country of public resources. The oil, climate, and COVID-19 crises and the ramp-up of the low-carbon transition exacerbate this reality, with the national oil company (NOC) delivering sub-optimal returns to its stakeholders.
Other NOCs have taken meaningful steps to become players in the low-carbon energy transition domestically or internationally—for example, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, Norway’s Equinor, Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. These NOCs can serve as sources of inspiration for NNPC. These five NOCs have also undergone reforms of various aspects of their corporate governance. Even if not always sufficient, these reforms position them to be players of the energy transition.
The current crisis provides a unique opportunity and political momentum for the Nigerian government and legislature to reconsider NNPC’s role in the context of the energy transition and implement profound reform of the company. While it is an incredible policy and political challenge, other NOCs are showing the way, and policy guidance is already out there to guide countries and companies.