07 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Nigeria expects to see its oil production back to its original 2.2 million barrels per day production within the next nine months, according to Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
The minister revealed last week that the nation’s oil output was still hovering around 1.5 million barrels per day, but maintained that a return to the 2.2 million barrels per day mark was possible following repair of infrastructure damaged by militancy in the Niger Delta.
“We still need to repair a lot of the secondary infrastructure that were damaged by militancy,” Kachikwu said.
“My projection is that within the six to nine months’ window, all things being equal, militancy remaining calm and the investment that are required being urgently done to repair the existing pipelines, we should get to the sort of figure that we had before,” he added.
Mr. Pade Durotoye, chief executive officer, Oando Energy Resources, recently also raised hope on Nigeria’s return to the 2.2 million barrels production. He said Nigeria could reach that level as early as the end of this month.
“We think that the worst is behind us. Before the end of June, we (Nigeria) will have Forcados back, which would take us (Nigeria) comfortably back to 2.2 million b/d,” he said at the Africa Independents Forum in London.
Attacks in the Niger Delta had pushed production to just over 1 million b/d at certain points last year, the lowest in decades, but attacks have abated since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, Nigerian crude differentials were under pressure last week from the prospect of more plentiful supplies due to the return of Forcados exports.
Reuters quoted a trader as saying that about 15 June-loading cargoes were available, in addition to more July-loading barrels.
Qua Iboe was last heard to be offered at dated Brent plus $1.00, although one trader put the value closer to dated Brent plus 50-70 cents.
The Forcados stream has loaded three cargoes in May, according to shipping schedules, after being shut down for months, adding to supplies.
The Forcados export terminal was shut down in February 2016 following militant attacks and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria declared a force majeure on exports of the grade.
While the force majeure remained in place, the terminal was reopened in October but suffered another attack by militants.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the SPDC, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan, said, “The force majeure on Forcados is still very much in place and any update will be duly communicated.”