By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Nigeria says it is targeting at least two million barrels crude oil production per day in the 2024 fiscal year, over-shooting its OPEC+ quota of 1.38 million.
The Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, known as OPEC+ had in June last year cut Nigeria’s output target for 2024 to 1.38 million barrels per day from 1.74 million bpd for 2023, reflecting the fact that for years the West African oil giant had failed to meet its targets.
In protest, Angola the second oil producer in Africa after Nigeria threatened to quit its membership of the oil body.
According to an Arise TV report on Tuesday, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri said that during the year, the country will be producing up to 2 million barrels per day, representing the combination of crude oil and condensates production.
According to him, the country can even achieve higher production figures.
However, the November 2023 data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) shows that the country produced 1,250,299 barrels of crude oil, 49,457 of blended condensates and 166,429 of unblended condensates, making up a total of 1,466,185 barrels per day of crude oil production in the month. December data has not been released.
The two million bpd target is made possible due to the administration’s efforts towards the fight against crude oil theft, and insecurity in the oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta, Lokpobiri says.
These efforts will bring about sustainable crude oil production in the country, he added.
He said: “In the past seven years or more, there is no fuel queue across the country, that did not happen by accident, it is a product of careful planning and execution. I can assure you that our projection for the year 2024 will be to surpass 2 million barrels per day and we will achieve it.
“When I came in, we were doing about a million barrels, today, we are doing about 1.7 million barrels per day, inclusive of condensates, so we can fund our budget comfortably. But we can do a lot more and I am already engaging all the companies about their plan for 2024 so that we can sustain this momentum.”
Maryamu Idris, the Executive Director for Crude and Condensates at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had at the Argus European Crude Conference in London in November 2023, highlighted efforts to increase oil production.
She emphasized that hiccups arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as reduced investments, supply chain disruptions, aging oil fields, and oil theft, impacted Nigeria’s production in late 2022 and early 2023.
Dangote Refinery, already taking delivery of crude oil is expected to churn out its first petroleum products in the first quarter of the year.
Situated in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, there is high optimism that it could lead to a price crash of refined products.