The Federal Government, on Monday, said it would continue to work hard to meet its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries crude oil production quota of 1.8 million barrels per day by the end of May 2023.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva a day after OPEC agreed to maintain its production cut among member countries to maintain market stability.
Sylva said the Federal Government would continue to improve security along the tracks of the major crude oil pipelines and block every leakage through which oil was stolen by thieves and pipeline vandals.
He said the inability of Nigeria to meet the current OPEC quota was not due to lack of production capacity on the part of crude oil producers, “but because a lot of producers decided not to inject into the pipelines as they were losing a lot of their production when they inject into the pipelines.”
A statement by the minister’s Senior Adviser Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, further quoted Sylva as saying, “Once we are able to build enough confidence in the security of the pipelines, they (producers) will then be able to inject into the pipelines once again.
“And once that happens, we will be able to meet up with our OPEC quotas. That is where we are going and the early signals are there that we are making very good progress.”
The minister noted that with the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries, as well as the planned repair of the Kaduna refinery, and the coming on stream of the Dangote Refinery, Nigeria was sure of guaranteed crude oil production that would ease the incessant fuel crisis faced across the country.
He said, “Between Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, we have over 410,000 barrels and if you have all that refined in-country, that will be at least half of our consumption.
“And with Dangote refinery, which is expected to come on stream by first quarter next year, we are expecting that we will actually be exiting the importation of petroleum products by third quarter of next year.
“But I believe that even before the third quarter of next year, we should be able to exit the importation of refined products.”
Speaking on the discovery of crude oil in Kolmani, a border town between Bauchi and Gombe states, Sylva said Nigeria should brace up for more oil finds, adding that only the Niger Delta region had been explored for oil despite potential in other regions of the country.