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Nigeria’s average daily crude oil and condensate production has dropped from the two million barrels per day (bpd) it recorded as at February to 1.6 million bpd in March.
March Facts and Figures from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources attributed the reduction in crude oil production to the routine repair work going on at Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) 250,000 bpd capacity Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO).
There is expected to be a boost in the country’s crude oil output in the coming months as SNEPCo announced last week that it has concluded its turnaround maintenance at the 225,000 bpd, Bonga FPSO, this month. This current production level represents a shut fall of 600,000 bpd from the 2.2 mbp, which the Federal Government has set as benchmark in its 2017 budget.At the current price of $53 per barrels for Brent crude oil, Nigeria will be losing about $38.1 million daily to the reduction in production.
SNEPCo under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), produces about 200,000 barrels of oil per day in the 225,000 barrels per day capacity Bonga field.
Managing Director of SNEPCO, Bayo Ojulari, had said in a statement that the current maintenance of the field was the fourth since the Bonga field began production in November 2005.
Ojulari, stated: “The plan is to successfully conclude the ramp of activities and resume production as planned in April, 2017. It is not proper to interpret the period as production loss to Nigeria.
“Rather, the turnaround maintenance is a series of planned and controlled activities that are implemented in collaboration with government and other stakeholders with the aim of ensuring the continued safety and productivity at the facility. The planning started two years ago and safety is top priority in every stage of the activities.
“This is an operation safely in Nigerian hands, with Nigerian engineers and companies playing leading roles and ensuring the objectives of the exercise are achieved.” The turnaround maintenance which commenced on March 04, 2017, involves three major components – statutory and regulatory safety checks, inspections, repairs and replacement of equipment and upgrades.”
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said that Nigeria is capable of producing three million barrels of crude oil per day from the Niger Delta region. The minister said the insecurity in the region had been undermining the nation’s capacity to realise its potential in oil production.
“It is important we continue to sustain the institutional engagement and negotiations which are key to the development of the region. “Our target is zero militancy by the middle of 2017, and an incident reduction in the region by 90 per cent by 2018. “We must resolve current militancy problems and bring back oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day,” he said.