Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said Nigeria will need to produce up to 15 billions standard cubic feet per day (sbcf) of gas to ensure that her national goal of turning her economy into a fully industrialised one by 2020 is realised.
The NNPC said yesterday in Abuja that for this to happen and also become sustainable, the country would have to increase its oil and gas reserves. It said the current reserves of the country would only take it for 35 years. NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said this when the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) hosted him to dinner at the weekend.
A statement from the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mallam Garuba Deen Muhammad, disclosed that the NNPC also expressed its readiness to partner with stakeholders in the country’s oil and gas Industry to grow the nation’s oil reserves which he stated was fast depleting in order to increase productivity in the sector.
Baru equally tasked NAPE and other stakeholders in the sector to focus on increasing the reserves to match Nigeria’s aspirations to increase its oil production to four million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2020 required.
“Our national gas demand forecast to year 2020 (domestic plus export) indicates a rapid growth to 15bscfd meaning current reserves level can only sustain that production for 35 years if we do not increase the 2bscfd gas reserves base which require 3tcf to replace production yearly,” Baru said in the statement.
He added that the 2016 national average oil production of 1.9mbpd was low partly due to oil infrastructure vandalism, and stressed the need for stakeholders to share data and use common available resources to reduce cost of operations in the area of rig-sharing, vessel sharing and synergy in projects development.
According to him, this has become even expedient in this current period of low oil prices and security challenges in the country’s oil fields across the Niger Delta region.
He said less than three per cent of all wells drilled in the Niger Delta Basin both onshore and swamp are deeper than 15,000 feet, adding that a greater number of these wells have not gone beyond 10,000 feet as a high pressure regimes seems to be a limiting factor.
On frontier exploration, Baru said the NNPC has made progress in its exploration efforts in Chad Basin, Benue trough and the other frontier basins so as to shore up the reserve base of the country.
He added: “Some of our earlier drilled non-commercial holes could be turned around if we deploy requisite technologies. We need to change our perspective of risk as technology is advancing.”
The statement also quoted the NAPE President, Mr. Nosa Omorodion, to have said that his association was ready to support NNPC in its drive to grow reserves and development in all the frontier basins.