The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said that it is committed to stopping the importation of petroleum products into the country by 2019.
The optimism was first expressed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, earlier in the month during a public hearing organized by the House of Representatives on the review of petroleum pricing template.
At the 14th Annual Aret Adams Memorial Lecture held in Lagos on Thursday, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, said that the national oil company is working hard at revitalizing the three major refineries in the country in order to achieve its aim of self-sufficiency in petrol production.
The GMD who was represented at the occasion by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Saidu Mohammed, spoke on the theme: “Find More, Produce More.”
He noted that Nigeria has to increase its oil exploration activities “in order to sustain its reserve base and grow production.”
“There’s no better time to invest in exploration than now when the crude oil price is low so that when the tide turns, we just turn on the taps,” he said.
Baru said that the NNPC “will continue to make investments towards increasing the national hydrocarbon reserve and daily crude oil and gas production.”
He said: “Since coming on board in 2016, we have recorded a significant reduction in the cost of Oil and gas production.
“We’ve successfully renegotiated our deep offshore rig-rate from a staggering $580,000 per day to $164,000 per day.
“Likewise, rig rates per day for both swamp and land operations have also dropped by over 35%.
“I am proud to announce that our (Unit Technical Cost) UTC has significantly dropped from above $70 per barrel in 2014 to about $27 per barrel as at year end 2016,” the NNPC boss said.
Speaking further on the issue of self-sufficiency, Baru said: “Finding More and Producing More” should be buttressed with the concept of “Refining More” to create better value across the industry.
“We’re committed to increasing the efficiency of our refineries so that by 2019, we’d have stopped importation of Petroleum products.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Operating Officer – Upstream, Bello Rabiu said that “with NNPC’s exit of the joint venture cash call, there’re great prospects ahead.”