FG Targets 1.6mbpd Crude Oil Production in Q1 2023

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has set its sight on the country’s crude oil production to reach 1.6 million barrels per day by the first quarter of 2023.

This is according to the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, at the recent World Bank’s Nigeria Development Update and Country Economic Memorandum in Abuja.

Mrs Ahmed also stated that the level of importation of petroleum products into the country would significantly drop next year when rehabilitation work on the Port Harcourt Refinery is completed. She said this facility would complement the much-expected commencement of operations of the Dangote Refinery in Lagos.

The Minister, who was represented at the event by the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, said oil production is “expected to increase to 1.6 million barrels per day by the first quarter of 2023, as efforts intensify to improve oil production infrastructure and reduce oil theft.”

“We currently project an average crude oil production of 1.9 million barrels by 2024. We expect to complete the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery before the end of 2023, we have also signed an MoU with Daewoo for a $1.5 billion rehabilitation of the Kaduna and Warri refineries.

“The importation of production products will significantly decline in 2023, as the Dangote refinery is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2023. The expected improvement in oil production is also attributable to the increased collaboration between government security agencies, private security outfits, host communities, and deployment of technology to curb the menace of crude oil theft,” the Minister added.

Nigeria’s oil output saw some improvement last month as it hit 1.185 million barrels per day, figures from the country’s petroleum regulator showed, after output fell to less than 1 million in August, the lowest in years due to increased crude oil theft and vandalism of pipelines, forcing some companies to curtail or stop production.

Mrs Ahmed stated that Nigeria’s economic growth improved in the third quarter of 2022, attributing this to “a robust recovery in the non-oil economy and other sectors, including telecoms, agriculture and services”.

She said the federal government was expecting more investors in the oil sector, stressing that the government was striving to achieve greater clarity in the sector in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The Minister, who spoke of the need for the nation to depart from “business as usual” policies, said fiscal pressures have mounted on the economy due to lower-than-expected revenue and the rising cost of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

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