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FG laments over dip in oil production

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Oil), has called for more investments in the oil and gas industry to ramp up production and boost foreign exchange earnings.

Lokpobiri made the call on Tuesday at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Energy Week currently holding in Abuja.

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The country has over 37.5 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and 209 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and 600 tcf of proven and contingent gas reserves respectively.

The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) says Nigeria finds itself in a situation where its daily production has significantly dropped to about 1.3 million barrels of oil and 8.5 bcf of gas.

Lokpobiri, in an opening address, who blamed the development on lack of drilling investments in the sector, disclosed that efforts were ongoing to change the narrative by attracting more investments into the sector.

“We have been working hard to ramp up production. The overall objective is to increase production.

“It is when we ramp up production that we will be able to get the required forex inflow into the country, get money to fund budget, and satisfy energy demand.

“But you can only increase production by way of increasing investments,” Lokpobiri said.

Mr Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), in an address, said the Ministry had been instrumental in implementing reforms that made Nigeria an attractive destination for investors.

He said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and the recent Presidential Directive for Oil and Gas Companies on Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, among others by President Bola Tinubu, created a conducive environment for investment.

“The regulatory frameworks now in place incentivise investment, streamline bureaucratic processes, and provide clarity on fiscal terms”, he noted.

Earlier, the Chairman, IPPG, Mr Abdulrazaq Isa, had sought for measures by all relevant stakeholders to address the dwindling production level and under-investment in the oil and gas industry.

He said that in spite of the nation’s world hydrocarbon resource base, with over 37 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and 207 tcf and 600 tcf of proven and contingent gas reserves respectively, daily production had dwindled.

He expressed worry that daily production had significantly dropped and stood at about 1.3 million barrels of oil and 8.5 bcf of gas today.

“This is way below our capacity as a nation and by all globally acceptable standards, this reserves to production ratio is extremely low and a clear indicator that the industry is in a dire situation”.

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