By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has said that the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), plans to reactivate about 3,453 shut-in-oil strings (oil wells) that has been indentified across the country.
Sylva disclosed this at the 60th Anniversary of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) which held in Lagos at the weekend.
This was even as he disclosed that as the country continues to grapple with oil theft, about 265 illegal refineries exist within the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) corridor.
Sylva, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Kamaru Busari, said that the government has been engaging host communities, security agencies and deploying technology to address the issue in order to boost investors’ confidence in the sector.
He added that vandalism and oil theft had resulted in Nigeria producing less than one million barrels of crude oil per day.
The Minister lamented that the country’s inability to meet its Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota had deprived it of the much needed oil revenue when oil prices were very high in the international market.
According to him, “With security, technical issues, reduced investment and asset integration identified as the mitigating factors to growth, Nigeria’s upstream sector has never witnessed this scale of disruption of its facilities.
“We will focus on our shallow water production, which are embedded with the huge potentials for condensate production as we encourage investors to set up condensate refineries which would be our succor in order to meet Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) demand”
Also speaking at the event, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari, said the company was not unmindful of the current challenges, particularly security in the operational areas and cash call arrears settlement.
Kyari, who was represented by the Deputy General Manager, Treasury, NNPCL, Mr. Dapo Segun, noted that capital allocation will be value driven and the NNPCL, going forward will only deploy capital based on returns and value creation.
He stated that the portfolio strategy is focused on balance of volume and value, adding that the company will not sacrifice value for volume.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Rick Kennedy, Chairman OPTS, said OPTS had made significant contributions to the development of the Nigerian oil and gas industry over the past 60 years.
Kennedy, who was represented by Mr Osagie Okunbor, Vice Chairman, OPTS, said OPTS members had demonstrated resilience and commitment in the face of economic, security, environmental and funding challenges.
He said: “We have continued to make significant contributions to Nigeria’s development.
“As a group, OPTS member companies account about 90 per cent of Nigeria oil production and contributes significantly to the domestic and export gas production and supply.