By Chineme OkaforÂ in Abuja
United States oil firm, ExxonMobil has unveiled plans to raise its budget for funding joint venture (JV) operations in Nigeriaâ€™s oil and gas fields with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2018.
ExxonMobilâ€™s Senior Vice-President, Mr. Jack Williams stated this recently in Abuja when he visited the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
Â Williams did not disclose the total financial commitment the firm would commit to Nigeria in 2018, but affirmed in a statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, that ExxonMobil is also committed to ending gas flare in Nigeria.
According to the statement, the NNPC and ExxonMobil – its partner in upstream joint venture oil operation, indicated they will commit hugely to ending gas flaring at the Qua Iboe oil terminal, to be able to provide sufficient gas for the independent power plant that is expected to be built there.
Similarly, both firms are seeking new measures to expand their existing operational portfolio with a view to increasing crude oil production and availability of gas for power generation in Nigeria.
According to the statement, Baru welcomed Williams and a high-powered delegation from ExxonMobil to his office.
Baru, according to the statement, said the joint venture with ExxonMobil was before now the highest producer of crude oil in the country, and would now make a rebound.
He said the NNPC and ExxonMobil, held discussions on major operational issues like improved drilling to increase production and refurbishment of crude oil pipelines as well as supply of gas to the planned Qua Iboe Independent Power Plant among others.
â€œMore importantly, we also discussed their recommitment to supply gas to the domestic market and this is something that is very positive and they are willing; we would quickly roll-out the programme to ensure that sufficient gas comes in for the IPP. We also secured a commitment from them to end gas flare at QIT and other production areas,â€ said Baru, in the statement.
The statement also quoted Williams to have described the meeting to have been very fruitful, and that ExxonMobil was committed to growing its production in Nigeria safely and with lots of integrity.
He noted that ExxonMobil would increase its 2018 joint venture budget for its operations in Nigeria, to underscore its commitment to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, a June 2017, monthly operations report of the NNPC has disclosed that the country flared up to 663.31 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/d) within the period, to give out a daily gas flare rate of 8.78 per cent for the month.