Nigeria is targeting increased crude oil production of three million barrels per day as it improves security on the environment, the minister of state for petroleum resources has said.
This was contained in a statement by Horatius Egua, his senior adviser on media and communications, saying the minister spoke while receiving the new Managing Director of Eni SpA, in his office, on Monday in Abuja.
The minister said the federal government is committed to ensuring that all local and international oil companies return to full domestic oil production, noting that oil majors have slashed crude oil production due to massive vandalisation of pipelines and theft of crude oil in the Niger Delta region by “criminal elements”.
The decisions of the companies, he noted, have affected the volume of daily crude oil production and, unfortunately, led to revenue losses.
But Sylva said in recent months, improved security surveillance along major pipelines has boosted crude oil production from just 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.4 million, and to 1.6 million (bpd).
He restated the federal government’s readiness to further improve security along the tracks of major crude oil pipelines and block leaks that would allow oil thieves and pipeline vandals to steal crude oil.
“I am happy to hear from you (Eni) that you have increased your crude oil production to 15,000 barrels per day as a result of the efforts of the government in protecting the pipelines in the region. I assure you that this trend will continue,” the minister said.
Sylva added that the desire of the federal government is to “see all the oil majors in the country return to their full production capacity to boost revenue for the government”, and also help the country meet its Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) obligations.
“We will continue to work to bring stability and build confidence for everyone to return to the field to produce their maximum capacity,” he said.
On his part, Mario Bello, head of the sub-Saharan Africa region of Eni SpA, expressed gratitude over the improved security situation at oil fields.
“We are happy that the security situation is improving and we will be willing to be back fully,” Bello said, adding that as of last month, the company cried to the minister over the vandalisation and theft of their products.
“At a point, we were producing almost nothing but today, with the improved security situation along the pipelines, we are able to produce and export about 15,000 barrels of crude oil and if this trend continues, we will be able to reach our 30,000 barrels crude oil production