Nigeria’s state owned oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its resolve to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves to 40 billion barrels through reinvigorated exploratory activities in the inland frontier basins across the country.The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, told delivering the 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) that crude oil has already been discovered in the Benue Trough in commercial quantity, with Nigerian Geologists spearheading the efforts.
Kyari, who is the special guest at the conference, noted that the strategy is to aggressively explore for more oil in the frontier basins in order to grow the nation’s reserve base in line with the Nigerian Government’s aspiration to hit the 40 billion barrels reserve target.
Kyari noted that the theme of this year’s conference: “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves: Emerging Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities” fits squarely into NNPC’s key aspiration, which is to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves, reduce unit operating cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel and improve efficiency across its businesses.
“It is my pleasure to appreciate the good work and resilience of our in-house professionals in the ongoing inland basins exploration activities that culminated in the recent discovery of hydrocarbons in Benue Trough. NNPC is indeed proud that it is NAPE members that are spearheading this effort,” a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, on Friday quoted Kyari as saying.
According to him, the NNPC has made significant progress in improving operational efficiency through the adoption of technology and deliberate effort to curtail soaring cost of operations across strategic assets.
“It is instructive to understand that the current market reality cannot support inefficiency and escalated costs of operations. The era of $30 per barrel of oil no longer exists.
“In today’s Covid-19 defined market, sustaining operations and making progress means that all stakeholders must recognize the need to improve efficiency, reduce costs, eliminate wastages, entrench accountability, act with transparency and embrace technology and innovation to drive performance and value realization across strategic investment portfolios,” he said.
The NNPC boss added that in the face of the energy transition, the Corporation is focused on developing gas infrastructure and deepening domestic gas utilization, stressing that gas is the energy of the future.
He expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill would be passed next year, noting that the fiscal environment proposed would attract more investment into the Oil and Gas Industry.
He assured NAPE and all other industry operators of sustained collaboration from NNPC, saying that the strategy of synergy was required in order to drive down operating cost and survive the emerging challenges in the industry.