*Sets 2021 target to meet local gas demand
Lagos — After declaring a loss in its first-ever financial statement released recently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC has said it is hopeful of declaring a dividend to its shareholders by the end of this year.
The Corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari at the weekend in Abuja said the NNPC performance-to-date has recorded an operating surplus which hit N20.23b in August, as against expected N691.8b for the year, assuring that shareholders will have cause to some to the banks this year.
“Inspire the effects of the COVID19 pandemic, we are confident that the company will dividend to its shareholders”, he said.
“NNPC has never published its audited financial statement in 43 years. We came and started doing that and released the 2018 financial statement, which showed that NNPC lost N803b. We were not afraid of doing that, and there were a lot of criticisms that we lost money in refinery operations and pipeline business.”
He added that NNPC reduced losses by N803b through cutting of costs.
Keyari revealed that the country can no longer meet local demand for gas as demand has skyrocketed.
“Gas supply to domestic market is low and we are unable to meet local demand”, he said.
He added that however, with the construction of the AKK pipeline which according to him, its construction would cross the River Niger by next year, would enable operators reach more people with more gas.
Nigeria’s crude oil production as at April 17 already hit 2.4 million barrels per day, he revealed.
“The last time we were close to that output figure was fifteen years ago”, he said, adding that the 3 million barrels per day target is not beyond reach.
“If not for COVID19 and the OPEC cuts, we would have attained 3mb/d”, he said.
He revealed that the current production of 1.7mb/d OPEC cut is understandable however, the country has the capacity to produce above the cut level.
According to him, the target of 3 million barrels per day would become attainable as the country addresses disputes hampering development of a number of oil blocks, especially a dispute involving Shell and Balema Oil, which stalled oil production from Oil Mining Lease 25. The blocks could add 30, 000 barrels per day.