Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Monday said Nigeria’s crude oil production had declined from 2.2 million barrels per day to 1.4 million barrels per day due to pipeline vandalism.
This, he said, translated to loss of 800,000 barrels of oil by the country daily.
The minister made this known at a special session of the House of Representatives convened over the recent petrol price hike.
He condemned the incessant attacks on oil installations in the country, saying “we declined from 2.2 million barrels which was the focus of the 2016 budget to 1.4 million barrels as of today’’.
He, however, expressed the ministry’s commitment to ensuring that destroyed facilities were repaired and effectively protected.
“We are going to work hard to see how we will get these issues resolved and get our production back,’’ the minister said.
Kachikwu restated the need to develop infrastructure, which he described as “key’’ to promoting increased and efficient crude oil production.
“There are still a whole lot of things we need to pay attention to; infrastructure is key, but we have not as a country over the last 20 years invested in infrastructure in the oil sector.
“Our pipelines are 35 years old and none has been replaced; we have not been able to put gas infrastructure in place, our refineries are next to comatose and old and we are working hard on them.
“Our critical facilities are at a breakdown stage, so no serious infrastructure has taken place.
“No country in the world will expect that the price system in the country will benefit its citizens if it doesn’t invest in infrastructure.
“So, the energy we put on PMS we need to begin to focus on building massive infrastructure all over the country. I know how much efforts it has taken to pump products from the south to the north, to the east and to the west.
“It has been one battle after another, but the time has come to invest in proper pipelines, proper tracking, proper buried levels and begin to move with the world,’’ Kachikwu said.