15 March 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that Nigeria is targeting 2.4 million barrels of crude oil per day, mb/d, in output in 2016.
Kachikwu, who spoke recently in Abuja while outlining his broad strategy for the country’s oil and gas sector for the year, said that even though the target of 2.4mbpd was not used as a production benchmark for the 2016 budget, he explained that the production volume would be pursued by his ministry.
The Minister noted, however, that about 200,000bpd of the planned total would be dedicated to domestic refining while 2.2mbpd would be kept for export.
According to him, the country would have been doing 2.3mbpd, but for the attack that was recorded on one of Shell’s Forcados pipeline recently.
“In terms of volumes, I think we are producing at 100 per cent. Before the Shell pipeline incident which happened about a week ago, we were already hitting about 2.3mbpd up from about 2.18mbpd.
“The target this year really, without putting that in the budget, is about 2.4mbpd and to dedicate some of that to total refining capacity and keep our 2.2mb as whole as we can.
“That is still the target we are shooting for and I think that if we have a 100 percent performance in terms of funding and oil companies are going full blast, so we will see things happen,” Kachikwu said.
He also spoke on the country’s cash-call arrears to international oil companies, saying: “$5.1 billion are in cash call arrears and then we have year-to-year gaps in terms of cash call amounts.
“What this means is that the upstream is not performing at 100 per cent level, they are barely just continuing and you can see the trend in terms of staffing losses, project abandonment and all that.
“But very quickly, we must find a way of finding funding for the upstream. We want to settle the arrears to bring back confidence and to create an alternative funding scheme to cover the gap from year to year so they can work on a 100 per cent basis, and our belief is that if you do that, you will have incremental volumes to help you pay off the loans.
he added that, “The target I have set for our people is to work with the majors, finalise all issues of funding, including arrears and the year-to-year gap within a period of four to five months, and once we do that, we can say for 2016 or 2017 at least, we would have dealt with the arrears.”