• David-West faults directive on gas flaring
Nigeria is to increase its daily oil production to 1.8 million in 2019. It would also raise its condensate output by 0.5 million bpd during the period.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, yesterday told Reuters that the country currently produces 1.6 million bpd of oil and 0.4 million bpd of condensate.
According to him, the state-owned oil agency is concluding talks with consortia to revamp the nation’s moribund refineries to reduce fuel imports.
“The expected deals are to be signed this month. We are almost done,” he stated.
The NNPC boss hinted that the corporation could also sign crude-for-product agreements with Shell and ExxonMobil.
The agency imports about 70 per cent of the country’s fuel needs, mainly gasoline, via swap contracts. It has direct sale direct purchase agreements with 10 organisations, including trading houses Vitol, Trafigura, Mercuria and Total.
Meanwhile, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Tam David-West, has warned that the national economy might collapse if the Federal Government compels oil companies to comply with its zero flare policy.
He argued that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would be deluding self if it assumes that it could attain zero gas flaring in a main oil-producing nation like Nigeria.
The don, who was minister between 1984 and during the president’s stint as military head of state, told The Guardian that the directive by government to oil firms to end flaring next year was not tenable and posed serious threat to the health of the economy.
“There is no country in the world that has achieved zero gas flaring. I have been to the Gulf countries. I have been to Latin American nations. In every country that produces crude oil, there must be some gas flaring. They say every company that flares gas will be charged $2 per one thousand standard cubic feet of gas. No oil company is going to pay. They are going to leave the country and the economy will collapse,” he stated.