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Nigeria’s oil Minister says production level will rebound

Nigeria’s crude oil production level is will soon rebound , says he Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke

Speaking at the Organisation of Petroluem Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretariat in Vienna during the special Get-to-know-you interactive session with members of the international media, organised to herald her emergence as OPEC’s first female oil minister and leader of a delegation in the 50 year history of the organisation, the minister said that Nigeria has achieved a level of stability in crude oil production which has helped the country to meet its OPEC obligation of crude oil supply to the international market.

“In terms of production increases, I am sure you are aware that Nigeria has gone through a very dire period of militancy over the last few years. Embedded in that, we suffered a lot of integrity losses to our infrastructure and a number of our fields were obviously abandoned due to the militant activities. We are now in the process of recovering those fields and to make sure that the integrity of our infrastructure is maintained going forward, which, to some extent, explains the increases in our production in line with OPEC parameters,” Allison-Madueke stated.

The Minister informed that with the cessation of militancy in the Niger Delta and the effective implementation of the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, Nigeria’s crude oil production has peaked to about 1.9million barrels per day in line with OPEC parameters.

Answering a question on the Petroleum Industry Bill, the minister remarked that the PIB would ensure effective and equitable playing field for all stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry while ensuring that the country derives maximum benefit from the exploration of its God-given resources. “Embedded in the PIB is the gas master plan which, when promulgated into law, will increase gas exploration in Nigeria. It will ensure that Nigeria will be known as a gas producing country rather than a crude producing country. At this time, Nigeria has 187 trillion cubic feet gas reserve and we are projecting 600 million cubic feet of gas.”

Allison-Madueke said the PIB has gone a long way to taking into consideration the observations of all stakeholders, necessitating over 120 amendments to ensure that all stakeholders are taken on board. She expressed optimism that the bill would be passed into law soon by the National Assembly. On the transformation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Allison-Madueke said the reform was on track, and in the near future, the Corporation would become an independent integrated national oil company like other national companies in the world.

She noted that the passage of the Nigerian Content Development Act has added impetus to the participation of Nigerians in the Petroleum sector, saying this is a major achievement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Responding to a question on the next oil-bidding round, Alison-Madueke noted that the marginal field oil-bidding licenses round will be coming up before the end of the year, and expressed the belief that the bidding round would open up more vistas for marginal field operators.

The 157th meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna came to a climax with the adoption of a new and comprehensive Long-Term Strategy (LTS) at its ministerial conference. The LTS, which has been prepared over the past year, provides a clear and consistent framework for the Organization’s future.

According to OPEC, the LTS defines overall objectives, identifies the key challenges that the Organization faces now and in the future, and explores a number of coherent and consistent scenarios that depict plausible and contrasting futures of the energy scene.