News sources have reported Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, of stating that the Nigerian government hopes to attract over US$10 billion of new investment in the oil and gas industry over the next five years.
Speaking at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) conference, Kachikwu suggested that new investments would aim at addressing some of the challenges that the industry is currently facing, including pipeline development.
During his keynote address, Kachikwu expressed his view that it is now time to reduce the cost of crude oil production. He stated: “Between 2015 and 2016, we took drastic measures to moderate crude oil prices […] but between July 2016 and now, there has been lots of stability in the downstream economy. There are still some challenges, but work is in progress.”
According to the Premium Times, Kachikwu claimed that the government’s immediate plan is to increase Nigeria’s oil production from the current 2.2 million bpd to approximately 3 million bpd.
He took note of the challenges that have been, and may continue to be, posed by militant groups, particularly in the Niger Delta region. However, Kachikwu added: “We have set a target of zero militancy for 2017. It is achievable due to lots of community-based activities and motivation.”
Kachikwu specifically mentioned Nigeria’s Trans-Forcados crude oil export pipeline system and its Trans-Niger pipeline, which evacuates crude produced onshore to export terminals, as being particularly subject to severe vandalism.
Highlighting the extent of the vandalism, Kachikwu noted how Nigeria had witnessed a peak production of 2.35 million bpd at the beginning of 2016. However, this declined to an almost all time low of 1.3 million bpd as a result of the incessant vandalism. Despite this, according to Kachikwu, Nigeria remains a leading producer in Africa, with potential to boost production to 3 million bpd of oil by 2020, as mentioned above.
The government has now commenced serious engagement with all interest groups in the Niger Delta in order to achieve stability in the region.
Kachikwu also acknowledged an outstanding debt of US$5.1 billion. He claimed that his would be paid over five years through incremental oil production volumes. He noted: “We are left with options of bringing in investors that will help address the over US$45 billion infrastructure deficit.
“Either gas pipeline, crude pipeline, the time has come to move from government ownership to private ownership for efficiency,’’ the minister said.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/business-news/02032017/nigerias-oil-and-gas-industry-looking-on-the-up/