…Says insecurity inflates cost of oil production
Port Harcourt — The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has reiterated the need for peace in the Niger Delta, saying insecurity and lack of peace affects cost of production in the oil and gas sector.
Speaking at an interactive townhall meeting organised by the Bayelsa State Government and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with chiefs, youths and other stakeholders in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, the minister also said youths and residents of the Niger Delta must eschew restiveness but work for peace and security as preconditions for oil multinationals to relocate to the region.
Sylva stressed that asking the oil companies to relocate without addressing the security concerns, would only escalate Nigeria’s cost of crude oil production, which according to him, is one of the highest among OPEC members.
“We look at it from the perspective of cost. It will be cheaper for oil companies to operate from here because it is nearer from the operating areas.
“The only concern is that we have a responsibility to bring peace and security because that is another source of cost. If you don’t have peace and security and the oil companies move back here, then you add to the cost of oil production.”
He insisted that it would make sense to the oil companies to return if the environment is safe because it will be cheaper for them.
“They were here before. Shell was in Port Harcourt and Warri and most of other companies were here. They only ran away when insecurity took over the region.
“It is time to bring back peace and security so that those firms can return. On our part as the Ministry we are not against the oil companies moving back,” he stated.