The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it hopes to ramp up crude oil production above the country’s budget benchmark of 2.2 million barrels per day (b/d) by the end of the second quarter of 2017 due to the restoration of critical export pipelines and the peace so far achieved in the Niger Delta.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said this at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference (NOG) in Abuja.
With the proposed 2017 budget based on crude oil price of $42.5 per barrel and 2.2 million b/d oil production, there were calls for a downward review of the benchmark following the sustained attacks on oil infrastructures in the Niger Delta which cut down production to its lowest level in 30 years.
Baru, however, said crude oil production has increased from 1.5 million b/d in July 2016 to 2.1 million b/d in recent times due to steps taken by NNPC and its partners to restore critical export pipelines.
He also attributed the uptick in output to the various negotiations with Niger Delta leaders and militants which he said have yielded stability with expectations that output would rise to surpass the budgeted benchmark.
Speaking on “Reforming and Repositioning the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria,” Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said the negotiations embarked on so far in the Niger Delta have recorded, a “near zero stoppage to militancy in the last 60 days.”