Fed Govt exceeds oil budget target

Fed Govt oil budgetNigeria’s crude oil and condensates production has risen to 2.323 million barrels per day (bpd), exceeding the 2019 budget benchmark of 2.3 million bpd.

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday while receiving in audience, the national officials of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), said Monday’s crude oil output figure was a significant improvement from the average daily production of 2.1 million barrels recorded last year.

The NNPC chief also revealed that the corporation had recorded significant growth in its gas output, noting that it has grown the country’s gas production from about 450 million standard cubic feet (scf/pd) to about 1.5 billion SCF/pd currently.

He said officials of the state run oil firm are now negotiating foreign direct investments (FDI) for the petroleum industry to the tune of $7 billion, a significant improvement from the $3.6 billion recorded in 2017.

Baru said: “Since we came in July 2016, we had been focused on increasing production of oil and gas and condensates. At some point, our national combined production was about a million barrels; I am happy that as at the end of 2018, we have moved on, averaging last year, about 2.1 million barrels.

“As I am speaking, this morning, I look at our production figures, combined oil and condensates we are pushing 2.32 million barrels a day. This stability and ability to push production has come as a consequence of several factors, both internally, externally and also with the help of the media.

“Our drive for transparency has also produced a lot of fruits. We have been able to attract FDI into the oil and gas industry and in 2017 alone, we attracted about $3.6 billion. In 2018, we shot it up by $3 billion; at the moment, some of our officers are in London, where they are negotiating sums in the region of $7 billion as FDI for the oil and gas sector.”

Baru said NNPC had been able to reduce the cost of crude oil production, dragging it down from $27 per barrel in its Joint Venture (JV) operations to $22 per barrel, adding that it was looking at further reducing it to about $20 per barrel.

He said the Federal Government currently does not have funds to finance the revamp of the country’s refineries, noting that the corporation was currently engaged with some contractors to carry out checks on the refineries and present the findings to the financiers who had agreed to fund the rehabilitation.

“At the Port Harcourt refineries, the contractors are on site; they are carrying out every checks and lots of non-destructive testing. We believe that by the end of October, we would have detailed review and we would approach our financiers, clearly on financing basis; raise the funds because they are quite willing to fund the operations.

“NNPC would do that and pay the loans as appropriate, being that government does not have sufficient funds to finance the refineries rehabilitation. That is why it is taking time,” he said.

Baru, who said the corporation was yet to hit its TD in the oil drilling in Kolmani River 2, in Bauchi State, said “may be next week we will hit the TD.”

He explained that an interesting thing is happening in the exploration, which is accountable for the longer time that the project has taken instead of the 60 days from February 2, 2019.

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