Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, has assured that Nigeria would find the formula for peace in the Niger Delta region of the country by 2017.
Kachikwu, who is currently at the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Producer-Consumer conference in Tokyo, Japan, said Nigeria was at 2.1 million barrels of oil production per day, before the renewed hostilities by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
Speaking to Bloomberg on the “turmoil” in the region, Kachikwu said: “Well, I won’t call it turmoil anymore, I would call it a bit of disruption”.
“We’ve passed the turmoil stage, we have moved from 1.4 million barrels a day to 1.9.We were at 2.1 before we had the last incident.
“It is work in progress, we are putting every energy we can. President Muhammadu Buhari is very focused on trying to find solutions to these problems, and we are working hard on it. We are seeing solutions come up, we are seeing acceptance to what we are doing.
Kachikwu said he was optimistic that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deal will become a reality to push oil prices to $50 per barrel, and above. The Minister, who presided over OPEC’s 168th ordinary meeting in Vienna, also stated that a failure to reach a deal will crunch prices below $45 a barrel.
Meanwhile, about 224 firms have bidded to purchase and lift Nigerian crude oil grades for the period 2016/2017.
Successful companies would participate in the lifting of about 700, 000 barrels per day of crude oil on offer by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) on Free on Board (FOB) basis subject to the execution of sales and purchase agreement with buyers.
A statement from the Corporation said the event which was broadcast live on a national television network had in attendance representatives of the bidding companies and officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and some members of the civil society as observers.
Speaking at the event, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said that the public bid opening was in consonance with the transparency and accountability agenda of President Buhari in the oil and gas industry.
‘’We do everything transparently in NNPC and also ensure fairness in all the transactions that we do. There is nothing that is hidden just as you have seen today’’, Baru stated.
He indicated that the exercise was targeted at getting competitive bids from refiners, and also big traders, as well as companies that have made substantial investment in the oil and gas industry particularly in the downstream sub-sector in Nigeria.
The GMD dismissed insinuation that Nigerian crude grades were receiving low patronage in the international market noting that the demand for Nigerian crude remained high because of its low sulphur content.
The 26 Nigerian crude oil grades on offer include: Bonny Light, Forcados Blend, EA Blend, Bonga, Qua Iboe Light, Yoho Blend, Erha and Escravos Light. Others are; Pennington Light, Agbami, Brass Blend, Abo, Oyo, Okono Blend, Amenam Blend, Akpo Condensate and Usan. The rest include: Atam Blend, Okwori, Okoro, Ima, Ukpokiti, Obe, Okwuibome, Ebok and Asaratoru
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