…Laments drop in production and reserves
Yemie Adeoye 18 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government trough the oil industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has called for intensive oil and gas exploration to grow the nation’s dwindling reserves and production, and enable it maintain its position as Africa’s foremost producer.
George Osahon, Director of the DPR, made the call earlier today as he addressed a cross section of stakeholders in the oil and gas industry as well as delegates to the on-going Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference 2014 in Abuja.
According to him, with national reserves dropping from 37 billion to 35 billion barrels, this shows a huge drop that calls for intensive oil exploration.
DPR is currently reviewing several initiatives that would boost exploration activities, Osahon announced.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu in his address, however noted that the greatest challenge facing the industry now is crude oil theft which saw the nation losing over 300,000 barrels of oil per day, bopd, in 2013.
According to him, the magnitude of the loss has led the government to set aside N15 billion to combat oil theft in the Niger Delta.
“These includes provision of air surveillance and strategic patrol of our inland waterways and so on. It has become imperative in view of the enormity of the shut-ins as a result of vandalism on the pipes connected to three major export terminals namely forcados, Brass and Bonny to continue to maintain and protect these lines.”
“Nigeria should continue to maintain the leading position in Africa in view of new oil and gas prospects and reserves,” he said.
Yakubu further stated that the deepwater sector in Nigeria was facing rapid development and seeing huge investments, hence it would account for half of the nations output in the next decade in view of the huge investments that are currently being made in deep water.
“Significant production increases is assured with the implementation of these outlined objectives and Nigeria shouldn’t do less than 3 million bopd by 2020 taking into cognizance OPEC quota and funding,” he said.
Also speaking the Vice President Nigeria and Gabon, Shell, Mr. Markus Droll emphasized on a number of problems and challenges hindering the oil sector growth in Nigeria.
Top on the list, according to him, was oil theft which he said accounted for about 300 interruptions through illegal oil tapping connections on infrastructure in the year 2013.
According to him aslo, oil theft has become huge in Nigeria and would require a sustained, multi-stakeholder measures on a number of fronts to arrest.
He also noted that security has become an issue as lack of a conducive and peaceful operating atmosphere has led to immense costs that could have gone into development and operating costs.
Aside from this, he said funding remained a challenge, urging for more funding for the country to fulfill its oil and gas potentials.