Nigeria’s crude oil output nears 1.7m bpd — NNPC Ltd

The group chief executive officer (CEO), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari has said the country’s oil production volume is close to 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

He made this known in Lagos at the weekend at a stakeholders’ engagement between the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and the NNPC.

On May 14, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said Nigeria’s average daily crude oil production rose to 1.28 million bpd in April.

According to Kyari, Nigeria has the potential to produce two million barrels per day but “it is not possible today.”

He said this is due to oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

“The good news is, there is substantial work that is being done by the government and I’m not going to speak about it. But I know that this will come to pass. It’s already subsiding. We are already seeing the results,” he said.

“As of today’s data, we are inching to 1.7 mbpd. Should we celebrate this? No, and I can tell you why. On April 17, 2020, our production, without doing anything, without drilling new wells, shot up to 2.2 mbpd.”

Kyari attributed the increase in oil production during the COVID-19 period to the lockdown that forced oil thieves and pipeline vandals to shut down their illegal operations, and “go to sleep.”

“We should be able to take control of this infrastructure. We are doing many things. I am very sure things are changing and that is why we are seeing the new value that is coming on the table. Production will improve,” he said.

Kyari said there is a need to fight insecurity in the oil and gas sector to increase output.

“How do you increase oil production? Remove the security challenge we have in our onshore assets. As we all know, the security challenge is real,” the GCEO said.

“It is not just about theft, it is about the availability of the infrastructure to deliver the volume to the market.

“No one is going to put money into oil production when he knows the production will not get to the market. Within the last two years, we removed over 5,800 illegal connections from our pipelines.”

He said the company took down over 600 illegal refineries.

“You simply cannot get people to put money until you solve that problem,” Kyari said.

Due to pipeline vandalism, he said everyone resorted to barging, with some spending $21 to transport a barrel of oil to the terminals.

“Barging is not normal. Barging is not economical, even trucking. In 1991, we didn’t think of barging, even to put oil on the trucks. But that’s what we are doing today,” he said.

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