The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday unveiled computerised crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tracking, automatic downstream system and other automation initiatives.
Speaking in Lagos during a ministerial briefing on the achievement of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and inauguration of the automated software, the minister said the essence of the initiatives was to be able to track crude oil productions and vessels on the onshore and offshore of the country’s waterways.
He said: “The clear mandate as a Minister of State, is to try and change the oil industry, because we were deeply worried about what was looking like a value dip in terms of the reputation of the oil industry and some of the issues of corruption that were all over the place.
“Whilst we are celebrating a whole lots of things that we have done, the 7-Big Wins, NNPC restructuring, the cash call issues, subsidy removal at some points, the reality is that DPR has been a regulator that has been working very hard and when they eventually got to the milestone that we have today.
“I said to them, let the people come out and know what they have been doing over the last couple of years.
“One of the key areas of focus was issue of transparency; how do we ensure that we are transparent in our operations, how do we ensure that we have speed to get approval for licences that previously will take forever.
“How we ensure that every monies that is collected in this sector is tracked and goes straight into the federation account, one of the problems we have is that what quantity of crude we produce, how much are the leakages.
“We have rolled around this for decades and I told them I want us to be able to tell Nigerians everyday what we produce with some certainties,” Kachikwu explained.
He said the agency have been able to track production, track the movement of that production, following these initiatives had launched series of IT-based platforms and interventions which had Nigerians into the next foray of how oil companies and oil operations in this country should run.
“All our fields are largely tracked online now and what it means is that we can actually feed the nation on what was our actual production and from which fields and what is the volume and also identify if there are leakages.
“We have also had the COLT which is basically tracking of crude oil and LNG. It is just not enough to produce, but to know where it is going to. As you know, some of our problems is both accounting for production and what happened to crude oil produced.’’
Kachikwu said that what COLT does for Nigeria was to be able track any of these vessels be it LNG or crude and track where it is going, adding that Nigeria can also track those vessels to the point of discharge.
In his remarks, the Director of DPR, Mordecei Ladan, lauded the minister’s support towards rebranding and reshaping the agency in ensuring improved services delivery in the oil and gas sector.