The West African country is seeking to raise crude reserves to 50 billion barrels, a state oil firm has said
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is expanding crude exploration in the country's onshore frontier basins, local media reported on Tuesday citing the company's CEO, Mallam Mele Kyari.
According to Kyari, the expansion of exploration efforts aims to help Nigeria boost oil reserves to 50 billion barrels from the currently proven 37 billion, and to lift the country's crude production to 3 million barrels per day (bpd).
As part of the steps to reach these goals, the NNPC also launched a crude drilling rig on Tuesday in the Ebenyi-A Well, located in the Middle Benue Trough in Nasarawa State.
"Today, we have mobilized the drilling rig at this site, here in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. We are optimistic that the positive outcome of this campaign will contribute to the national aspiration of increasing our hydrocarbon reserves," Kyari stated.
"I wish to reiterate that [we] are committed to conducting exploration activities of the nation's frontier basins that span the Chad Basin, Upper and Lower Benue troughs, Bida Basin, the Sokoto Basin, Dahomey, Anambra platform, Calabar embarkment and the ultra-deepwater Niger Delta, using the best industry standards and technologies," the CEO added.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who inaugurated the first oil drilling at Ebenyi-A in a virtual ceremony, said the launch of the new rig is in line with plans to increase Nigeria's "considerable hydro-carbon assets." He argued that exploration efforts would inevitably lead to greater prosperity for Nigerians and enhance their overall energy security.
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According to OPEC's latest Monthly Oil Market Report, based on secondary sources, Nigeria's oil production in February rose by 72,000 bpd, to 1.38 million bpd. However, output levels are still short of the country's 1.742 million bpd quota within the organization. Analysts attribute this to pipeline vandalism and oil theft problems that constantly plague the country's oil production industry, as well as a lack of investment in infrastructure.
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