By Temitope Ponle
Abuja – The Federal Government says it will increase crude oil production to the national target of three million barrels per day and reserves of 40 million barrels before 2023.
Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said this while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream chaired by Rep. Musa Adar (Sokoto-APC) on Monday.
According to Census and Economic Information Centre (CEIC), Nigeria’s crude oil production was reported at 1,866 barrels/day in Aug. recording an increase from the previous number of 1,780 barrel/day for July.
The data reached an all-time high of 2,496 barrels/day in Nov. 2005 and a record low of 1,419 barrels/day in Aug. 2016.
Also, according to NNPC, reserves of crude oil stand at 28.2 billion barrels.
“It is true that our production target has not materialised over the years and indeed the national target of three million barrels/day and 40 million barrels of reserve has not been attained.
“What I can assure you is that we are very focused today, we know this is possible and we have taken steps to realise this before the end of 2023,” he said.
The GMD said that a number of interventions were ongoing to ensure increase in the production of crude oil.
According to him, there are issues around security across the areas of our operations and that has hindered some intervention in some of the onshore assets; it is, however, not left unattended.
“There are ongoing engagements by our security agencies in collaboration with stakeholders and it has come to the bearest minimum.
“Also, some stealing of crude is going on and there are efforts on it to stop this and we believe that within record time, this will be contained so that you will see incremental value in the production numbers that we have.
“We know that this (production) will grow because of the interventions we are doing and resolution of issues that we are doing with our partners,” he said.
Kyari said that partners were going back to exploration and production but urged the National Assembly to put the petroleum legislation in place that would encourage more investment in the industry.
“Snce 2007, there is no significant investment decision made by this industry in our country and the highest that was done was an investment increase of about $500 million and that means there is something responsible for it.
“One of them is fiscal clarity. As you are aware Mr. Chairman, efforts to bring the petroleum legislation on the table has not materialised and I know today that this Assembly is very determined to ensure that the legislation is put in place.
“That will address the issue of fiscal stability because investors must be convinced that your laws will not change, you have stable fiscal regime and they know the basis of their investment.
“I believe that when we restore the issue of fiscal legislation, it will be a mighty step towards getting our partners to invest in our country.”
Kyari also said the NNPC was working on modalities to get refineries in the country working again, which would contribute to the reduction in the cost of production.
According to him, the refineries did not fail because there were no skills but because we were unable to take care of them and we do not want to give excuses.
“We can blame anyone but what we have decided to do is to make them work; there is no scarcity of skilled people and the will is there today.
“Our plan subsequently, at the right time, we will get them to you and I assure you that the plans we have in place will deliver these refineries,” he said.