Nigeria lost 23.1million barrels of crude oil from August 16 to September 5, due to activities of Niger Delta militants, which led to shut-in of production, shut down of pipelines and terminals, The Nation has learnt.
It was gathered that the country lost 1.1 million barrels daily, about 23.1 million barrels in 21 days.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu confirmed this at a conference in Lagos, saying the country had to produce an additional 1.1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) between now and December to recover the loss and meet the targeted yearly production.
Nigeria’s daily crude oil production fluctuates between 1.4 million barrels and 1.6 million bpd, a development, which implies that the country is short of 1.1 million bpd to meet its daily production of 2.7million bpd.
In a related development, the Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Oil Limited, Mr. Thomas Dada, said the country lost substantial crude oil to the crisis in the Niger Delta.
He said crude oil production had continued to fluctuate, noting that there was a time the output was 2.1 million bpd before it fell to 1.2 million bpd.
He said the incessant bombing of pipelines had resulted to dwindling revenue, poor gas supply to the thermal plants and its attendant low electricity generation, and capacity utilisation, among others.
The problem, he said, was taking a toll on the economy as many manufacturing and allied companies had either closed shops or relocated to neighbouring countries.
Dada said the economy is oil-dependent, stressing that the fall in the price of crude oil made it difficult for the government to meet its fiscal obligations.
He said: “Problems such as the fall in the global prices of crude oil, pipeline vandalism and others are evident in the country. Apart from the fact that the Federal Government was unable to finance many critical projects, the nation’s economy has suffered untold loss. Both the goods producing and servicing firms are unable to cope with the current economic realities as they lay off their workers, due to poor power supply and other problems.”
According to him, government and the private operators needed to critically examine the problems in the oil and gas and other sectors and proffer solution to them to grow the economy.
“If urgent steps are not taken to address the problems confronting the nation’s economy and the oil and gas industry, the country may plunge into total distress,” he warned.
He said investors were shying away because of the grim economic situation. According to him, the country was not yet an investment destination, adding that the government needed to make the environment friendly to get results in the petroleum industry and the economy.
The Niger Delta Avengers attacked major oil and gas facilities in the region. The group and the Federal Government are yet to reach an agreement on ending the insurgency. The Nation