The Federal Government, on Tuesday, said it was working to ensure that all local and international oil companies returned to full capacity production of crude oil in Nigeria.
Major oil producers in Nigeria have drastically cut down on crude oil production due to the widespread vandalism of pipelines and oil theft in the Niger Delta region by criminals.
The decisions of the oil companies have affected the volume of daily crude oil production, leading to humongous revenue loss for the country.
But in the last few months, the improved security surveillance along the major crude oil corridors has helped to improve oil output from about 900,000 barrels per day in September to between 1.4 and 1.6 million barrels per day in December, according to senior government officials.
But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, while speaking in Abuja on Monday at a meeting with the team from Eni SpA, said the Federal Government would continue to improve security along the tracks of the major crude oil pipelines and block every leakage.
Sylva was quoted in a statement issued by his media aide, Horatius Egua, as saying, “I am happy to hear from you (Eni) that you have increased your crude oil production to 15,000 barrels per day as a result of the efforts of government in protecting the pipelines in the region. I assure you that this trend will continue.”
Sylva added that the desire of the Federal Government was to “see all the oil majors across the country return to their full production capacity to boost revenue for the government,” and also to help the country meet its Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ obligations.
He said, “We will continue to work to bring stability and build confidence for everyone to return to the field to produce their maximum capacity.”
By this efforts, he said the Federal Government was targeting full production capacity of up to three million barrels of crude oil production daily.
On his part, the Head, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Eni SpA, Mario Bello, said that the renewed confidence in the Federal Government’s efforts in restoring sanity along the major crude oil pipelines in the Niger Delta had enabled the company to increase crude oil production from a near zero production level to about 15,000 barrels per day in the last one month.
“We are happy that the security situation is improving and we will be willing to be back fully,” Bello stated.
He noted that as at last month, the company cried to the minister over the vandalism and theft of its products, adding that as at today the situation had greatly improved.
He said, “At a point we were producing almost nothing, but today, with the improved security situation along the pipelines, we are able to produce and export about 15,000 barrels of crude oil and if this trend continues, we will be able to reach our 30,000 barrels crude oil production.”
Bello stated that with the renewed confidence of the company in the security of the crude oil pipelines, Eni was willing to reopen its planned investment in the gas and power sector.