23 November 2016, Abuja – Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, has stated that Nigeria’s crude oil output had risen to around 1.9 million barrels per day.
Kachikwu also disclosed that the country would pay the $5.1 billion Joint Venture Cash call arrears owed International Oil Companies, IOCs, within a five-year time frame. Due to the activities of vandals and militants in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s crude oil output had dropped to as low as around 900,000 barrels per day, a far cry from the 2.2 million barrels per day benchmark in the 2016 budget.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting of the National Council for Hydrocarbon in Abuja, Kachikwu stated that the vandalism of the Forcados pipeline negatively impacted on the country’s crude oil output, noting that the issue was currently being addressed.
He said: “In terms of crude oil output, we are still not where we should be. These days, I am always conscious about giving figures so that I do not attract attention unnecessarily. “Obviously, the Forcados incident did impact us. My guess is that we are moving closer to 1.9 million barrels per day at this point. We are still managing the issue.”
Commenting on the five-year repayment period for the Joint Venture Cash Calls arrears, Kachikwu said the repayment time line was part of the concessions Nigeria got from the IOCs, while he added that the country was able to secure a discount of $1.7 billion from the negotiations with the IOCs.
He further stated that the National Council on Hydrocarbon, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari would function as an advisory body and would contribute ideas that would be used in policy formulation in the petroleum industry.