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Crude Oil: FG reiterates commitment towards fixing national refineries

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Says African market needs competition

The Federal Government has reiterated that its target to increase crude oil production to the national target of three million barrels per day and reserves of 40 million barrels before 2023 as well as fixing its refineries remains on course.

Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, said this during the Seplat Energy Summit 2020 tagged “Business Sustainability and Strategic Leadership in Africa” organised by Seplat in Lagos on Thursday.

Kyari noted that the role of the oil and gas business in the continent is huge and cannot be swept under the carpet as regards its sustainability and explained that the FG is focused fully on bringing down the cost of production and focus on gas.

‘According to a report, Nigeria will contribute 25 per cent to the total population in Africa by 2040 and what we can do is to make our operating market competitive by bringing down the cost and production and focus on the business of gas,’ he said.

Furthermore, he called on other African countries to leverage the opportunities in renewable and gas energy, noting that it was important to have for each country to connectivity within the continent.

According to him, economic activities within the continent will tend to play a part in the NNPC’s drive towards sustainability but Africa remains the next destination of oil and gas businesses. Kyari explained that the current oil structure cannot be sustained because the off-stream was subsidised but said the country will manage cost as it progresses in its oil content business.

‘All four national refineries are down at the moment but we are working round the clock to see how we can fix them. We will also continue to support the completion of the Dangote refinery and create space for local skills to come into play so as to reduce cost and contribute to economic growth. We remain committed to achieving our target of increasing crude oil production to the national target of three million barrels per day and reserves of 40 million barrels,’ the NNPC GMD said.

Commenting further, the President, African Export-Import Bank, Professor Benedict Oramah, said the future of the African continent as regards the oil and gas business is integration while noting that Africa is still challenged with distribution and investment in energy which allows efficient consumption amongst each country.

Professor Oramah said: ‘Some of the changes we would like to see happening is in regards to policies and regulatory changes, investments in gas and renewable energy space because they are key to changing the narrative of oil and gas business in the African continent.

‘We have to be smart as to how we address climate change to create a fair world and solve degradation as sustainability goes beyond social issues because development is done by carrying everyone along but petroleum, gas, renewable energy needs to be done in a cleaner way.’

The incoming Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, Roger Brown, thereafter, maintained that the company is looking at putting more projects on board while adding that Seplat remains confident of market recovery in the coming months.

‘I would ask the government to continue to support us in terms of legislation and call for more inroads in investments in the Nigerian oil market.’

He further said that the timely completion of the ANOH project remains a major priority, despite the COVID-19 crisis while adding that the company had recently launched a financing RFP that has already generated significant expressions of interest.

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