NIGERIA plans to increase its crude oil production to an all-time high of 3m barrels a day by 2023 and boost the nation’s reserves to 40m barrels from the current 28.2m barrels following recent discoveries in northern Nigeria.
Traditionally, Nigeria’s oil output has stood at around 2.5m barrels a day, although at one stage during the era of President Goodluck Jonathan, production peaked at 2.7m barrels a day. Last week, crude deposits were discovered in the Gongola Basin on the border of Gombe and Bauchi states and this is expected to significantly increase output.
According to Census and Economic Information Centre, Nigeria’s crude oil production totalled 1.86m barrels a day in August, up from the 1.78m barrels a day recorded in July. However, Mele Kyari, the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said that by 2023, this will increase to 3m barrels a day.
Mr Kyari added: “It is true that our production target has not materialised over the years and indeed the national target of 3m barrels/day and 40m barrels of reserves has not been attained. What I can assure you is that we are very focused today, we know this is possible and we have taken steps to realise this before the end of 2023.”
Revealing this while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream, he said that a number of interventions were ongoing to ensure increase in the production. According to Mr Kyari, there are issues around security across the areas of operations and that has hindered some intervention in some of the onshore assets.
He said: “There are ongoing engagements by our security agencies in collaboration with stakeholders and it has come to the barest minimum. Also, some stealing of crude is going on and there are efforts on it to stop this and we believe that within record time, this will be contained so that you will see incremental value in the production numbers that we have.
“We know that this will grow because of the interventions we are doing and resolution of issues that we are doing with our partners. Since 2007, there is no significant investment decision made by this industry in our country and the highest that was done was an investment increase of about $500m and that means there is something responsible for it.
Mr Kyari added that partners were going back to exploration and production but urged the National Assembly to put the petroleum legislation in place that would encourage more investment in the industry. He also said the NNPC was working on modalities to get refineries in the country working again, which would contribute to the reduction in the cost of production.
He pointed out that the refineries did not fail because there were no skills but because Nigeria was unable to take care of them. Mt Kyari added that the NNPC has plans to resolve this and subsequently, at the right time, will submit them to the National Assembly.