NNPCL rejects Senate’s move to increase oil production benchmark

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, on Friday, rejected the move by the Senate Committee on Appropriation to increase the crude oil production benchmark in the 2024 Appropriation Bill from 1.7million barrels per day to 1.8million per day.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, dropped the suggestion at the budget defence session between his committee and the management of the NNPCL.

The Federal Government in the Appropriation Bill gave an average crude oil production benchmark of 1.78mb/d and a crude oil price benchmark of $77.96.

The NNPCL GCEO told the committee that the oil giant would stick to the benchmark approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the Appropriation Bill.

Kyari submitted that the crude oil price and production benchmarks were based on dynamics in the global oil market.

He said, “I will advise that we stick to the submission of Mr. President on the quota. There is no way we will get crude oil for less than $70.

“Once economies are growing, there will be sustained demands for crude oil in our country and other countries.

“The estimates supplied by Mr. President are realistic. When we say production, we mean total production of crude oil and condensates. So we combine condensates and crude oil as total marginal production. So we know our estimates are realistic. There is no curtailment on condensates from OPEC.”

Reinforcing his stance on realistic estimates by President Tinubu, Kyari however cautioned that security challenges in the Niger Delta Region could frustrate the projections of the federal government, citing crude oil theft.

The NNPCL GCEO told the gathering of lawmakers and journalists that illegal crude oil bunkering in the oil-producing states is alarming as he revealed that there are over 4,800 illegal connections on crude oil pipelines.

His revelations were propelled by the comments of Senator Benson Konbowei ( PDP Bayelsa Central ) said he like every other Niger Deltan, can distil oil.

Kyari said, “The situation we have in Niger Delta in terms of security is a calamity. We don’t have that anywhere in the world.

“As it is today, about 4,800 illegal connections are made on the over 5,000 oil pipelines across the country.

” The illegal connections on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta is so rampant that within 100kilometres of the affected pipelines, 300 insertions are made on them, which eventually made the pipe to be weak to the point of not being able to hold the pressure of oil pumped, let alone, delivering it to the targeted destination.

“Additionally, it is abnormal to engage non-state actors to protect critical assets like oil pipelines. We have however responded abnormally and getting results, because unlike as it was in July 2022 when less than 1.2million barrels of oil were produced by day, it has been 1.5million barrels per day within the last two to three months, “he said.

Kyari also gave an update on the turnaround Maintenance of the nation’s four refineries.

He insisted that the Port Harcourt refineries would come on stream in December while  Warri Refinery would resume production in the first quarter of 2024.

The NNPCL GCEO gave December 2024 as the production target of the Kaduna Refinery.

He also informed the committee members that the 1.78 million barrels per day oil production for the 2024 budget, includes condensate which are 200, 000 to 300, 000 barrels per day.

In his remarks at the end of the interface, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adeola, said Kyari has strengthened their convictions on the workability of the assumptions and projections of the 2024 budgetary proposals.

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