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Minister reassures on targeted reduction of crude oil production cost


By Solomon Asowata

Lagos – Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has assured that the reduction of Unit Operating Cost (UOC) of producing crude oil in Nigeria to $10 per barrel by December 2021 is achievable.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kyari said on Wednesday, at a webinar organised by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), that strategies had been put in place to achieve the goal.

He said some Production Sharing Companies (PSC) were producing oil as high over $30 per barrel by building in cost of risk that was not necessary, thereby inflating the production cost.
“It is not acceptable and this cannot continue. Our target is to bring it down to $10 per barrel by December 2021 and this is achievable.
“Any company that does not operate at $10 per barrel cost of production is free to go because the upstream sector is not a subsidised market, ” the NNPC boss said.

He maintained that some of the oil and gas companies had over bloated management structures which impacted on the production cost.
“We are going to do things very differently. We are engaging our Joint Venture partners on the areas of inefficiency that they can do away with.
“Also, there is need for adoption of technology to enhance productivity, reduce waste and improve system efficiency, ” Kyari said.
He explained that the COVID-19 pandemic that brought about oil glut in the international oil market made NNPC to sell crude oil with discount, which led to a reduction in the country’s expected revenue.
According to him, this has made the corporation to restrategise on how to move forward and put in place measures that would help to address the challenges going forward.

Kyari was, however, optimistic that crude oil price may rise to between $40 to $45 per barrel as the countries gradually recovered from the pandemic.
He explained that the future of the industry was gas, stressing that the Federal Government was committed in judiciously utilising it to improve the country’s economy.

Kyari said the recently signed deal with Siemens would help Nigeria improve power generation, transmission and distribution to 25, 000MW in the next few years.
“No country has developed without having power and what we have to do as a country is to make sure that we establish our power infrastructure.
To do this, the resource we need to do this is the gas that we have in abundance, and it is possible and realistic to achieve this, ” he said.


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