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Most oil pipelines in Nigeria were built almost 70 years ago, have outlived their lifespans — Minister

The Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, says the majority of Nigeria’s oil pipeline infrastructure was constructed around 70 years ago when the country first discovered oil.

He noted that these facilities have now exceeded their expected lifespans.

Lokpobiri made this disclosure in a statement on Monday  when he received Mr Salem Al Shamsi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Nigeria, and his delegation in his office in Abuja.

The Minister said Nigeria needs to attract investments in the oil and gas sector to boost infrastructural development in the industry.

He noted that the visit aimed to enhance the relationship between Nigeria and the UAE, promoting increased collaboration and mutual advantages in the energy sector.

The Minister emphasized the advantages of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), noting that it offers a solid legal structure that ensures investment returns and has substantially transformed the oil and gas industry.

Lokpobiri pointed out that the PIA establishes a secure and lucrative investment environment, positioning Nigeria as a desirable destination for investors.

“We are focused on ramping up our oil production; at the same time. We are inviting UAE investors to look at Nigeria as a prime destination. Our business environment is friendly, and our crude deposits are vast.

“We need to create more opportunities for investments to come in so that we can create the requisite funding for us to be able to finance our transition.

“Nigeria has enormous investment opportunities. Our pipelines need renewal. The pipelines have been there for over 50 years. Nigeria found oil in commercial quantity in 1956/58.

“From then till now, it’s almost 70 years and most of those pipelines were built around that time, so they have already outlived their lifespan.

“Even if you have the capacity to produce, you need to evacuate to the terminals where you could do export.

“So, it’s an opportunity we are actually looking up to for potential investors from the UAE to come and invest and recover their money through those investments,” he said.

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On his part, Al Shamsi expressed optimism about the significant potential within Nigeria’s energy sector and commended the efforts to foster a favorable investment climate.

He added that the technical teams from both the Ministry and the UAE Embassy would need to meet to discuss potential collaboration.

Al Shamsi emphasized the importance of exploring partnership opportunities between the two countries.

“Our countries have much to gain from continued collaboration,” he said.

What you should know

While being a leading oil producing nation, Nigeria still struggles to meet its OPEC quota as a result of so many factors such as oil theft, low investment and infrastructure inadequacy in the sector.

Earlier this year, Lokpobiri had attributed the low crude oil production in the first quarter of the year to issues with the Trans-Niger pipeline and maintenance activities by some oil companies.

Meanwhile, , President Bola Tinubu signed a raft of executive orders geared towards attracting investments and boosting productivity in the oil sector that has seen significant divestment from international oil companies  (IOCs) in the last few years.

The current administration also said it aimed to increase the country’s oil production to an ambitious 4million barrels daily by the end of the decade.

 


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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