The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says Nigeria is working to meet the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil production quota of 1.8 million bpd by May 2023.
Sylvia said this in a statement on Monday by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, after OPEC agreed to maintain its production cut among member countries to maintain market stability.
He said the Federal Government would continue to improve security along the tracks of the major crude oil pipelines and block every leakage through which crude oil are stolen by oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
Sylvia said that the inability of Nigeria to meet the current OPEC quota was not due to lack of production capacity on the part of crude oil producers.
He said it was because a lot of producers decided not to inject into the pipelines because they were losing a lot of their productions when they inject into the pipelines.
“Once we are able to build enough confidence in the security of the pipelines, they (producers) will then be able to inject into the pipelines once again and once that happens, we will be able to meet up with our OPEC quotas.
“That is where we are going and the early signals are there that we are making very good progress.
“Our pipelines have issues and we put security structure in place involving the communities, the security, oil companies and government and we are beginning to see some early signs of improvement.
“Our production for example has improved from where we were in the past.
“We are producing over a million barrels now and we believe that when we have built confidence enough on the pipelines and all the producers begin to inject into the pipelines that have been secured, we will be able to meet our OPEC quota,” he said.
He said that with the current rehabilitations of the Port Harcourt, Warri refineries as well as the planned fixing of the Kaduna refinery and the coming on stream of the Dangote Refinery, Nigeria was sure of guaranteed crude production to ease incessant fuel crisis.
According to him, between Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna there are over 410,000 barrels and if we have all that refined in-country that will be at least half of our consumption and with Dangote refinery which is expected to come on stream by first quarter next year.
He expressed hope that even before the third quarter of 2023 Nigeria should be able to exit the importation of refined products.
Speaking on the discovery of crude oil in Kolmani, a border town between Bauchi and Gombe states, the minister said Nigeria should brace up for more oil adding that only the Niger Delta region had been explored for oil despite potentials in other regions.
“Nigeria is a very prolific territory, so far only the Niger Delta has been proven as oil bearing territory but we have a lot of other basins within Nigeria; we have the Benue trough, the Gongola Basin, the Sokoto Basin and the Dahomey Basin.
“We have a lot of Basins that have not been proven. We are targeting to get to see how we can explore for oil especially now that the world is transiting.
“We want to see how we can quickly take advantage of what we have on the ground because coal didn’t finish on the ground before the world moved on to oil but we don’t think that the world is going to wait for us,” he said.
Sylva said Nigeria would not be dealing with crude oil as only an income earner but as an economic enabler to avoid the crisis that hallmarked oil discovery in the Niger Delta region.
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