Nigerian energy giant, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, yesterday, announced plans to inject over $5 billion investments in its operations to boost its crude oil production to 250,000 barrels per day.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo, said the development would also spur increase of the country’s gas supply to 300 million standard cubic feet per day (scf/d).
He stated that massive investment was needed to grow the petroleum industry, adding that his company was at the fore of supporting the sector’s development.
“Aiteo was one of the biggest single investment decision maker when we have invested over $2 billion in acquiring the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 asset.
“At the moment, we do have our development plan which has been submitted to our joint venture partners (JV), and because the government is exiting the cash call situation, we are negotiating an alternative finance package to be able to fund about $5 billion of investment. The investment would move production to 250,000 barrels per day.
“However, this will increase our gas supply to about 300 million standard cubic feet (SCF), of gas per day, which will be enough to power more than 1.2 gigawatts of electricity in Nigeria. On finances, it is going to be a cocktail of financing options, depending on how we land with the alternative financing mechanism we are working with our joint venture partners – NNPC.”
Also speaking on challenges confronting the industry’s success story, he beckoned on the federal government to step up its efforts in stemming the menace of crude theft and vandalism rocking the industry.
“Aiteo operates a very key strategic piece of oil and gas infrastructure which is the Nembe Creek Trunk line, which is over 100 kilometres and increasingly, there have been a lot of incursions on that pipeline leading to outages of production, sometimes shut down.
“These pipelines, not only do they deliver Aiteo crude to the terminal, they carry crude to Shell. If we look at the shutdown impact in financial terms as a result of this oil breakages and theft, it is close to $2 billion in the past four years. That is what we have lost not just as a company but as a nation.
“To this end, the royalties that ought to acrue to the country is gone because of the activities of these vandals. That is why we are calling on the government to collaborate with us and find a lasting solution to this menace bedeviling the industry,” he explained.