By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
With Nigeria struggling to raise its oil production to meet the quota allocated to it by OPEC and also meet the 2023 Budget benchmark, the Minister for State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Thursday, assured oil and gas producers in the country of Federal Government support.
Senator Lokpobiri who gave the assurance when the leadership of Independent Petroleum Producers Group, IPPG, and the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, visited him in Abuja yesterday said the government was committed to removing all bottlenecks hindering ease of exploration and production in the energy sector.
Current oil production figures show that Nigeria produced 1.18 million barrels per day last month against OPEC quota of 1.7mbpd and 1.69mbpd set in this year’s budget.
A statement by Dr. Lokpobiri’s media aide, Nneamaka Okafor, explained that the visit was in-line with the Minister’s ongoing engagement with agencies, commissions and other stakeholders of the ministry.
Reacting to issues earlier raised by the oil companies concerning operating environment in the Niger Delta region and divestments by International Oil Companies, IOCs, the Minister said: “I want to assure you that we have the capacity to resolve whatever issues that exist or may arise in the future and together we can achieve a better sector in the interest of our country”.
He identified them as critical stakeholders in the industry, expressing appreciation for their readiness to work with him in-line with the President’s objective of increasing the nation’s oil production.
The team of IPPG and OPTS was made of the management of member companies led by the IPPG President and Group CEO of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Abdulrazaq Isa and the Executive Director of OPTS, Gwueke Ajaifia.