Alison-Madueke disclosed this at the ongoing 29th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Lagos.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Morris Fiddi, the Group General Manager, Nigerian Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS), said that the country produced over 18 billion barrels from her oil reserves in the last 25 years.
“In the first 25 years from 1958 to 1983, the country produced over nine billion of crude and condensate while another 18 billion barrels were produced in the following 25 years,” she said.
The minister said that the Federal Government was not unmindful of some of the challenges facing the industry, which she said, included security, funding, exploration and exploitation in frontier areas.
According to her, others are gas flaring, environmental and community issues among other.
“Let me assure you that government is working assiduously with relevant stakeholders to mitigate these challenges.
“The potential of growing oil and gas reserves is enormous and expertise of NAPE and other stakeholders is required,” the minister said.
Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said that the state government had formulated policies aimed at promoting the oil and gas business in the state.
The governor, represented by Mr Taofiq Tijani, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said that the policies would be geared towards creating enabling environment for the companies operating in the state.
“We will endeavour to create energy sufficiency and security so that the cost of doing business in our state will be relatively cheaper than any other states in the country,” he said.
Mr Guy Maurice, the Managing Director of Total Upstream Company in Nigeria, said that the annual investments in the industry was about two billion dollars.
He said that there was an urgent need for the country to encourage exploration and reserves replacement beyond 2020