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Nigeria’s oil production to hit 3m bpd soon – Minister

With the battle against crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism yielding positive results, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has said Nigeria is on track to restoring crude oil production to full capacity of three million barrels per day within a very short time.

He said that the Federal Government was working closely with all local and international oil companies and relevant stakeholders to achieve the target.

In the last few months, the improved security surveillance along the major crude oil production lines has boosted production from a paltry 900,000 barrels per day to between 1.4 and 1.6 million barrels per day.

Before then, the oil majors in the country drastically cut down on production due to the massive vandalization of pipelines and the theft of crude oil in the Niger Delta region by criminal elements.

Speaking while receiving the new Managing Director of Eni SpA, in his office in Abuja recently, Sylva again restated the Federal Government’s readiness to continue to improve security along the tracks of the major crude oil pipelines and block every leakage through which crude oil are stolen by oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

“I am happy to hear from you (Eni) that you have increased your crude oil production to 15,000 barrels per day as a result of the efforts of the government in protecting the pipelines in the region. I assure you that this trend will continue,” the minister said.

Sylva added that the desire of the Federal Government is to “see all the oil majors in the country return to their full production capacity to boost revenue for the government” and also to help the country meets its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) obligations.

“We will continue to work to bring stability and build confidence for everyone to return to the field to produce their maximum capacity,” the minister added.

The Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Region of Eni SpA, Mr Mario Bello, in his brief remarks during the visit said that the renewed confidence in the Federal Government’s efforts in restoring sanity along the major crude oil pipelines in the Niger Delta has enabled the company increase crude oil production from a near zero production level to about 15,000 barrels per day in the last one month.

“We are happy that the security situation is improving and we will be willing to be back fully,” Bello said adding that as of last month, the company cried to the minister over the vandalization and theft of their products, noting that as of today the situation has greatly improved.

“At a point, we were producing almost nothing but today, with the improved security situation along the pipelines, we are able to produce and export about 15,000 barrels of crude oil and if this trend continues, we will be able to reach our 30,000 barrels crude oil production,” he said.

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