By Abiodun OBA
Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), has disclosed that oil production in the country would surpass the 2024 budget target of 1.7 million barrels per day.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the Minister, Nneamaka Okafor in Abuja, said the Senator Lokpobiri disclosed this during a stakeholder’s interactive session on creating value and enabling investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector organized by Chevron Nigeria Plc.
The 650,000bpd Dangote Refinery as well as the 210,000bpd Port Harcourt Refinery owned by the NNPC Limited is expected to be fully operational boosting local refining of petroleum products and ending decades of petrol importation.
The Minister also stated that the country has the capacity to increase crude oil production to two million barrels daily and expressed his commitment to fostering collaboration with stakeholders to enhance the country’s oil and gas sector amidst his ambitious target for the year 2024.
“The success of the upstream sector will determine the success of the midstream and the downstream and as a government, we are willing to sustain that engagement with the stakeholders so that in the year 2024 and beyond, we will together ensure that we produce not just the 1.7 million bpd that we need for our budget but ensure that we produce what is needed to meet the local demand”, he stated.
Outlining the trajectory of oil production growth since the current administration took office, starting at about one million barrels per day and steadily increasing to 1.4 million barrels per day, the minister expressed his ambition to continue this upward trajectory, highlighting the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for stakeholders to thrive.
He pointed out that as “a new government that is business-friendly, with a clear mandate to ramp up production, we are willing to ensure that our fiscal regime is competitive globally. My appeal is that this old marriage let us manage it, sustain it and improve on it. Whatever your concerns may be; let us put them on the table to disagree to agree”.
Senator Lokpobiri assured stakeholders that the government “is working diligently to address the challenges facing the sector and is committed to providing the best playing field for both International Oil Companies (IOCs) and independents to make the necessary investments.
“As a country, we have the capacity to produce more than two million barrels per day. We have identified the issues bedeviling the sector and are already working on them. I would replicate this program with all the IOCs and independents so that we can make the sector work for all of us and Nigerians at large, and I know that 2024 will be a much better year”.