The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has stated recently in Abuja that Nigeria is targeting 2.4 million barrels of crude oil per day (mbpd) in output in 2016. This was made known when he was listing his plans and strategy for the country’s oil and gas sector for the year. He explained that the production volume of 2.4mbpd would be pursued by his ministry even though it wasn’t used as a production benchmark of the 2016 budget. Kachikwu however, stated that about 200,000bpd of the budgeted production would be used for domestic refining while 2.2mbpd would be reserved for export. He noted that the country would have been able to record an output of 2.3mbpd but the recent attack on one of Shell’s Forcados pipelines hindered that plan. “In terms of volumes, I think we are producing at 100 per cent. Before the Shell pipeline incident which happened about a week ago, we were already hitting about 2.3mbpd up from about 2.18mbpd.
“The target this year really, without putting that in the budget, is about 2.4mbpd and to dedicate some of that to total refining capacity and keep our 2.2mb as whole as we can. “That is still the target we are shooting for and I think that if we have a 100 per cent performance in terms of funding and oil companies are going full blast, so we will see things happen,” said the Minister.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State last week appointed Dr Austin Tam-George as the new commissioner for Information.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu also talked on the country’s cash-call arrears to international oil companies. He said
“$5.1 billion are in cash call arrears and then we have year-to-year gaps in terms of cash call amounts. “What this means is that the upstream is not performing at 100 per cent level, they are barely just continuing and you can see the trend in terms of staffing losses, project abandonment and all that. “But very quickly, we must find a way of finding funding for the upstream. We want to settle the arrears to bring back confidence and to create an alternative funding scheme to cover the gap from year to year so they can work on a 100 per cent basis, and our belief is that if you do that, you will have incremental volumes to help you pay off the loans. “The target I have set for our people is to work with the majors, finalize all issues of funding, including arrears and the year-to-year gap within a period of four to five months, and once we do that, we can say for 2016 or 2017 at least, we would have dealt with the arrears.”
A group called the Children and Women’s Rights Network, has blamed a group of people has mounted a campaign against the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to prolong the lingering scarcity of petrol in the country.
In another development, a group, the Children and Women’s Rights Network, has alleged that a cabal in the oil sector has mounted a subtle but disingenuous campaign against the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to prolong the lingering scarcity of petrol in the country. The Executive Director of the network, Moses Adedeji told This Day about the decision of the government in involving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and Department of State Services (DSS) in order to stop the diversion of products didn’t go well with the alleged group of people.
He mentioned that the Managing Director of PPMC, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue had become a subject sue to her efforts in stopping the diversion of products.
“Less than 24 hours after her appointment as Managing Director of NNPC’s retail arm, a powerful cartel involved in the illegal diversion of fuel stepped up their attacks against Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue whose goal was to truncate their illegal business, by using faceless platforms to call for her removal by Kachikwu. “In the past few weeks, these unscrupulous elements and their collaborators also feel gravely aggrieved that under the supervision of Kachikwu, she deployed hundreds of officials, under the overall supervision of the minister, to ceaselessly monitor defaulting filling stations and fuel distribution across Nigeria.”
In the midst of all these, China wants more crude oil exports from Nigeria in spite of the recent changes in oil prices. This was made known by Mr Zao LingXiang, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria in an interview in Abuja. “In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter whether Iran comes back or not; Chinese companies want to import more crude oil from Nigeria,” said LingXiang. He stated that the current trade volume between both countries stood at $14.94 billion in 2014, making Nigeria the third largest trade partner of China in Africa.
He also added that Nigeria’s trade figure was 8.3 per cent of China’s total trade volume with Africa and 42 per cent of the total trade volume between China and Africa.
“China is the largest developing country in the world and Nigeria is the largest developing country in Africa and both countries have complementary advantages in natural and human resources, funds and markets. “Right now, the Nigerian government is trying to diversify its economy which is fully in line with the 10 China-Africa cooperation plans announced at the summit on China-Africa trade in Johannesburg in 2015. “There is great potential for cooperation between China and Nigeria in the fields of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure construction, financial services, trade and investment facilitation, among others,” he said.
He believes the trading would be of benefit to both parties. He added that the scheduled visit of President Muhammad Buhari to China in April would facilitate the implementation of agreements reached at the 2015 China-African summit in Johannesburg. “China’s total investment volume in Africa last year increased by 100 times more in a short span of 10 years, which shows that cooperation between both parties is moving to a new level,” he said. LingXiang revealed that “China’s total investment volume in Africa last year increased by 100 times more in a short span of 10 years, which shows that cooperation between both parties is moving to a new level.”