Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is banking on its blooming strategic partnership with China and new investments in the upstream petroleum sector to actualize the nation’s crude Oil reserves and 3,000,000 barrels per day oil production target by 2023.
The corporation had also tasked members of the Pipelines Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to come up with appropriate technology to stem the current challenges associated with oil and gas pipelines vandalism.
The Group Managing Director of the (NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari who hosted the Executive Vice President of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Mr. Lu Yan Ji, in Abuja on Thursday said there was need to improve the nation’s revenue profile through new investments in the petroleum sector.
He commended CNOOC for its plan to expand its investment in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and assured it of the corporation’s support.
“To have investment of $16bn in Nigeria is clearly an indication of your confidence in us. We have a target to grow production to 3m barrels per day by 2023, to do that, we need partners like you. You can count on us because we have common interest”, the GMD stated.
In his remarks, the CNOOC Vice President, Mr. Lu Yan Ji, said Nigeria was one of his company’s largest investment destination with investment outlay standing at about $16bn.
He called for NNPC’s support in securing the investments, adding that there was need for both National Oil Corporations to work closely together.
He disclosed that CNOOC currently produces 800,000bpd worldwide with a target to hit 1.2 million barrels per day, adding that Nigeria was one of the targeted places to actualize the target.
In a separate audience with the executive members of PLAN, Kyari noted that security and integrity of pipelines were a big challenge in the industry, and called on all stakeholders to collaborate to arrest the situation.
“For us, what is of concern is the safety and security of our existing infrastructure, beyond just laying and maintaining the pipelines, their security is an issue for us today, the Association needs to focus on that, and we can ensure greater efficiency. We count on you in that regard because about 70 per cent of pipelines in the country belongs to NNPC”, the GMD stated.
He said that the corporation was working in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to optimize the participation of Nigerians in pipeline construction and to get more value from them.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of PLAN, Mr. Geoff Onuoha, assured the GMD of their support while expressing their readiness to work with him to actualize his vision for the industry.
“You want this industry to work well, you have made it clear that you want the refineries to work. Pipelines are the critical arteries to the refineries, we want to let you know that we are willing to work with you”, Mr. Onuoha declared.
On his part, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, Engr. Chidi Izuwa, said there was need to infuse private capital in pipeline infrastructure, adding that his commission was ready to collaborate with NNPC to drive investment in the pipeline sub-sector using the public private partnership (PPP) and concessions models.
“We are going to work closely as PLAN, as ICRC, with NNPC to achieve this very objective which is in tandem with the objective of this administration,” Izuwa stated.