The minister of state petroleum resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, says Nigeria will meet and surpass the 2024 crude oil production budget benchmark of 1.7 million barrels per day.
Mr Lokpobiri said this at a stakeholder’s interactive session on creating value and enabling investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector organised by Chevron Nigeria Plc.
Mr Lokpobiri, in a statement on Tuesday by his media aide, Nneamaka Okafor, said the country had the capacity to increase crude oil production to two million barrels per day.
Expressing his commitment to fostering collaboration with stakeholders to enhance the country’s oil and gas sector amidst his ambitious target for 2024, the minister said the federal government would sustain stakeholders’ engagement.
“The success of the upstream sector will determine the success of the midstream and the downstream. And as a government, we are willing to sustain that engagement with the stakeholders so that in 2024 and beyond, we will ensure that we produce not just 1.7 million bpd that we need for our budget, but ensure that we produce what is needed to meet the local demand,” he said.
Mr Lokpobiri outlined the trajectory of sector growth since the current administration took office, starting at about one million barrels per day and steadily increasing to 1.4 million barrels per day.
He expressed his ambition to continue this upward trajectory, highlighting the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for stakeholders to thrive.
“As a new government that is business-friendly, with a clear mandate to ramp up production, we are willing to ensure that our fiscal regime is competitive globally.
“My appeal is that this old marriage, let us manage it, sustain it and improve on it. Whatever your concerns may be, let us put them on the table to disagree to agree,” Mr Lokpobiri said.
He reassured stakeholders of the government’s diligent effort to address the sector’s challenges and provide the best playing field for International Oil Companies (IOCs) and independents to make the necessary investments.
“As a country, we have the capacity to produce more than two million barrels per day. We have identified the issues bedevilling the sector and are already working on them. I would replicate this programme with all the IOCs and independents so that we can make the sector work for all of us and Nigerians at large, and I know that 2024 will be a much better year,” he added.
The minister also highlighted ongoing efforts to rehabilitate refineries and ensure the functionality of modular refineries to enhance the country’s refining capacity, meet local and regional demands, and thrive internationally.
He, however, urged stakeholders to join hands in building a robust oil and gas sector that would contribute significantly to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
President Bola Tinubu, in the appropriation bill, gave an average crude oil production benchmark of 1.78 m illion barrels per day and a crude oil price benchmark of $77.96.