08 August 2013, Abuja – Nigeria’s oil production is set to rise to 2.5 million bopd in the next two weeks as repairs are completed on a major pipeline, a spokeswoman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said in a statement.
“In a fortnight, repair works on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) which has a daily capacity of 150,000 (bopd) is expected to be fully completed. On completion, daily average crude oil production is expected to increase to 2.50 (million bopd)” she said.
Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, shut the pipeline in April to remove crude oil theft connections and investigate suspected oil theft leaks. The pipeline’s closure caused SPDC to declare force majeure on its exports of Bonny Light crude oil.
Shell declined to comment on when repairs to the pipeline would be completed.
Widespread incidences of oil theft and vandalism significantly dented Nigeria’s oil production in the first quarter of the year. According to NNPC, output in the first quarter fluctuated between 2.1 million and 2.3 million bopd, well below the forecast production level of 2.48 million bopd.
According to Nigeria’s submissions to OPEC, its production this year has been even lower. OPEC figures show Nigeria’s output averaged 1.9 million bopd in the first quarter, and was just 1.7 million bopd in June.
However, incidences of oil theft have decreased significantly and production volumes have improved since June, thanks to a joint effort by the oil ministry, NNPC and international oil majors operating in the country. The spokeswoman added that the country’s production should increase further to 2.55 million bbl a day of oil and condensate for the rest of the year.
“All that is required is to continue the fight against pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft to achieve this target,” she said.