A sordid picture of the Nigerian oil industry was painted on Thursday by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed that Niger Delta militants have crippled production in the region. The minister revealed that between January and August, Nigeria recorded 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism Kachikwu spoke at the 2016 Annual Conference of National Association of Energy Correspondents with the theme, “Low Oil Price: Impact and the Way Forward”, in Lagos.
He also hinted that the country recorded over 3,000 pipeline vandalism cases from 2010 to 2015, lamenting that the impact of attacks on oil and gas pipelines were so severe that there was no more money to execute the 2016 Budget. He said that militancy in the Niger Delta had destabilised the country’s oil industry and that Nigeria needed to increase its production by 1.1 million barrels per day to meet its target.
The minister said that declining price of oil in the international market had negatively impacted the country’s revenue leading to economic recession.
According to him, the attacks on gas and oil pipelines have led to the loss of 643 million litres of petroleum products in 2015, amounting to a revenue loss of N51.28 billion, and109 million litres of petroleum products and 560,000 barrels of crude oil to refineries from January to June this year.
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On the urgency of “Gas to Power: Challenges and Opportunities,” he stressed that about 850mmscdf of gas production was shut in due to the crisis, leading to a power outage exposure of 2,700mw to 3,000mw of electricity. Speaking on crude production target, Kachikwu said the nation losses 700,000 barrel per day, declining by 29 per cent from 2.2 million bpd to 1.5million bpd, adding that Nigeria would need to produce an additional 1.1 million bpd from now till the end of the year to meet the annual target and balance the budget.
To help the gas-to power revolution, he said Nigeria needs to finalise and gazette a comprehensive policy, unlock gas potential, ensure effective development of the gas market with adequate and sustainable gas supply to the power and industrial sectors, transit from gas flare penalty regime to flare commercialisation, and shift focus from government-built to investor-built infrastructure.