The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has announced that measures are currently being taken to bring sanity to the oil sector which, according to him, has long being bedeviled by theft, pipeline vandalism and decayed infrastructure.
In a statement today, February 20, by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, the minister said however that despite the challenges, the Federal Government is determined to end the trend.
Chief Sylva stressed that the Federal Government is poised to end the trend through improved investments and security along the major oil and gas pipelines in Niger Delta region.
According to him, contrary to reports that about 40 per cent of the volumes of crude losses are due to measurement inaccuracies, the major sources of crude oil losses are theft, pipeline vandalism and production deferment as a result of pipeline non-availability.
“It is a known fact that the major losses of crude oil in the country have been through theft and destruction of oil pipelines. Again, we also know that some of the oil infrastructure are old and decayed and cannot perform at maximum capacity.
“And there is also the issue of lack of investments in fossil fuel in the country and the drive towards renewable energy has really hampered new investments in this sector.”
He emphasized that the problem associated with crude oil losses are systemic issues that the government is already handling with a view to finding permanently solutions to.
The minister, therefore, called on the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to harmoniously work together.
This, he said, would ensure that the constraints and impeding challenges in the optimal crude oil production volume were speedily addressed to boost national revenue.
He insisted that the Federal Government cannot continue to lose revenue through perceived lapses in crude oil production, especially at this very critical period of scarce revenue for the nation.
The minister said that this is not the time to dwell on the mistakes of the past or engaged in needless blame games but a time to work to close all existing leakages to enable government get maximum benefits from its crude oil and gas assets.
While expressing satisfaction at the improved security along the major oil pipelines in the region, Sylva called for sustained efforts by all concerned to maintain maximum crude oil production.
“We are very confident that Nigeria will achieve two million barrel per day crude oil production target very soon.
“The government is doing everything possible to get to where we should be and everyone is working hard to achieve this.”