14 March 2015, Abuja – The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has declared that the Ministry and its parastatals are focused on mitigating the effects of lower crude oil prices by directing efforts and investments towards the diversification of oil revenue base in 2015 and beyond.
Speaking at the 2014 budget performance and 2015 budget defence presentation before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources-Upstream, Downstream and Gas Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke stated that the ministry will expand its revenue frontiers by enhancing gas operations, expanding retail outlets and increasing refineries’ capacity utilization while at the same time minimizing the losses.
The Petroleum Minister noted that the year 2014 was packed with several industry activities, the most apparent being the upsurge in divestment and acquisition transactions that are boosting the number of Nigerian upstream operations.‘
’However, the petroleum ministry still faced a number of challenges, such as pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, declining crude oil prices, inadequate funding. Notwithstanding, with all hands on deck and the support of the National Assembly, the industry performed well in 2014,” Mrs. Alison-Madueke said.
The minister listed some of the achievements of the industry in 2014 to include: the increase in the production capacity of the National Petroleum Development Company, NPDC from 130, 000 barrels per day to 205, 007 bpd, the sustenance of crude oil production at an average of over 2.24million barrels per day in spite of all the attendant challenges of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, growing of NPDC into a mid-size Exploration and Production Company and major gas supplier to the domestic market with over 600 Million Standard Cubic Feet of gas per day supplied through Oredo, Ughelli and Utorogu gas plant.
Also listed as achievements within the period are; the enhancement of gas infrastructure through the addition of new Central Processing Facilities along critical gas pipelines, restructuring of the upstream gas sector by increasing the delivery price and transmission of gas with a view to boosting investment in the sector, collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to settle outstanding indebtedness of the Power Sector to upstream gas suppliers in order to ensure continuity of supply, boosting of gas supply to power with current ability to support 5, 800 MW of generating capacity with all completed power plants connected to permanent gas supply lines as well as the attainment of an average Gas Production of over 8.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day and over 7.6 bcfd utilization at the end of 2014.
The Petroleum minister said that in 2014 the ministry through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation commenced the critical expansion and construction of major backbone infrastructure which led to the expansion of Escravos –Lagos pipeline to 2 billion cubic feet per day capacity, the East-West OB3 Pipeline as well as the Calabar-Ajaokuta-Kano Pipeline utilizing Eurobonds and IFC Funding.
“Within the period we embarked on aggressive Gas infrastructure delivery which resulted in the completion of over 450km of gas pipeline, additional 377km pipeline construction is ongoing plus another 1, 400km at developmental stages expected to commence in 2015, ” she said.
In the downstream sub-sector, NNPC Retail increased operational stations from 432 in 2013 to 496 in 2014 while stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products was achieved within the period.“After many years of being inoperable due to pipeline vandalism, we have upgraded many of the our pipelines and products Marketing Depots across the nation, namely: Port Harcourt-Aba product; Warri-Benin; Kaduna-Gusau; Suleja-Minna; Kaduna-Jos, Jos-Gombe, only last week, the Aba Enugu pipeline. All these depots are now fully operational and will enhance the stable supply of petroleum products across the country despite the challenges of vandalism,” she also said.