…Oil prices rise, but high OPEC supplies temper gains
By Sebastine Obasi & Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—Crude oil production in Nigeria is now 2.2 million barrels per day, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, said yesterday.
Baru’s declaration came as oil prices rose yesterday, supported by strong demand for gasoline, even as rising output from Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, producers posed concerns about a persistent overhang of excess crude.
The NNPC boss spoke at the 6th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries conference organised by CSR-in-Action in Abuja, as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said there was some level of difficulty for investors to come into Nigeria.
Baru, who was represented by the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr. Saidu Mohammed, said the country’s crude production was building up.
He said: “We are doing about 2.2 million barrels per day today, but, of course, the intention is to build on that, sustain production and grow it up to about three million barrels per day in the next few years.
“We have to grow the reserves. We have had little or zero exploration for the past years, but thank God we are now renewing that. With the calmness in the Niger Delta and some of the efforts in the North-Eastern region, we have now renewed our vigour towards building the reserves.
“So in that way, we have gone back to the Benue Trough and the Chad Basin. Although the Chad Basin is slightly behind, in the sense that we were about to go back when security challenges erupted.
‘’We are just waiting for the final green light for us to go back there. Again, all these are towards building the reserves, for if you build up the production to about 2.3 or 2.5 million barrels per day, you need the reserves to sustain that volume.
‘’The NPDC has grown production from a mere 15,000 barrels per day to about 210,000 barrels per day as at today.”
The NNPC boss stated further that the corporation had reclaimed the three main pipelines that supply crude oil to the refineries, adding that the product lines had also been reclaimed.
“For the first time in the last five years we have been pumping products from Kaduna to Kano and this is in effort to reclaim the inland distribution and storage capacity that the NNPC has built over the years,” he said.
On his part, Kachikwu noted that although most countries of the world were faced with security issues, it was important for Nigeria to invest more in securing its citizens and investors.
He disclosed this while proffering measures through which the country’s economy and its oil sector could be revamped for greater benefit to Nigerians.
“Now the second aspect of this discussion is that how do you open your economy in terms of foreign participation? There is almost some level of latent difficulty for investors to come into this country. First, they deal with the issue of security.