Sustenance of increase oil production output our target – Lokpobri


By Tunde Opalana

The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) Senator Heineken Lokpobri on Thursday disclosed that Nigeria’s oil production output has to increased to 1.7 million barrel per day while promising improved production.

He said the achievement was consequent of achieving conducive environment in the oil sector and determination of the President Bola Tinubu administration to increase foreign earnings from oil and gas.

The minister gave a stewardship account of his ministry within a year under the Tinubu administration at a national press briefing in Abuja .

He gave kudos to policies of government aimed at resolving all challenges in the sector inherited from previous governments.

“When we assumed office, the biggest challenge met by this administration was a dire lack of investment in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, due to the protracted passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and inconsistent government policies, which drove potential investment to other climates.As such our primary policy thrust was, and remains, to increase production. You may ask, why is this our focus?

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“Because increased production is the lowest hanging fruit for Nigeria’s economic recovery. Higher production translates to greater investments, increased revenue and foreign exchange for the country, and a more functional midstream and downstream sector.We recognized numerous impediments to our progress early on, such as: conflicts among partners, divestment issues, inconsistent policies, insecurity, and bureaucratic bottlenecks.

“Consequently, over the past nine months our efforts have been dedicated to removing these obstacles, restoring investor confidence, and ensuring an enabling environment for business in the oil and gas sector to thrive.Allow me to outline our key achievements:Increased Production:

“Our foremost achievement is the significant increase in production. When we took office, production was at approximately 1.1 million barrels per day, including condensates. Today, I am proud to report that we have increased our production to approximately 1.7 million barrels per day (inclusive of condensate).

“This increase is a testament to our relentless efforts to streamline operations and resolve conflicts among stakeholders.Steps taken to Increase Crude Oil Production include:Efforts towards revamping redundant oil assets to active status Continuous engagement with IOCs and Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) members in resolving industry disputes towards increasing production.

Lokpobri highlighted factors responsible for the positive achievement to include;
Resolutions of internal Joint venture contracts feud between joint ventures partners on critical productions fields.Engaging local communities with critical assets running through them to protect the assets all in a bid to decrease oil theft in the country.

“Consolidating existing security framework with private security firms and Government security agencies for pipeline surveillance, which led to sharp decline in crude oil theft and thus increased production for export.

“During this period, we also experienced the coming on stream of OMLs 13 (Sterling Exploration) and 85 (First E&P), with the respective assets reaching first oil in the development of their licenses. These assets are expected to produce an average of 20,000 and 40,000 barrels per day respectively.

“This achievement is another testament to the commitment of this administration to optimize production from the nation’s oil and gas assets by providing an enabling environment for existing and prospective investors.Attracting Investments: One of our main objectives has been to create an environment where investment can thrive.”

According to the minister, over a decade, the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and inconsistent policies had driven investments away, but today, efforts of the government have rekindled investor confidence in the sector.

He said “notable examples include:Investments committed to the tune of $5bn and $10bn respectively in deepwater offshore assets; and $1.6bn investment commitment in oil and gas asset acquisition.The very high global interest noted in the ongoing bid round of assets coming online, arising from the recent roadshow activities in the US and Europe.Eliminating Bureaucratic Bottlenecks: .

He said the government has been working diligently to eliminate the bureaucracies and bottlenecks that have stifled investment for over a decade.

“To sustain this investment flow, we must maintain consistency in our policies and continue to address our challenges head-on.In conclusion, I am proud of the progress we have made over the past year. While there is still much work to be done, this administration’s outlook for the sector remains positive.

“I am confident that with continued dedication and collaboration, we will achieve our goals and secure a prosperous future for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector,” he said.

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