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Hasty exit of IOCs blurs Nigeria’s 1.8m barrel daily oil quota – FG

THE Federal Government revealed on yesterday that its inability to satisfy the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ oil output limit was due to a lack of investments in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

The lack of investment was attributed to the recent withdrawal of international oil companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil from Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, according to the report.

Nigeria’s OPEC quota is set at around 1.8 million barrels per day, but the country has struggled to produce between 1.3 and 1.4 million barrels per day in recent years.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, speaking at the ongoing CERA Week in Houston, Texas, stated that the pace with which IOCs were pulling investments in hydrocarbon exploitation had contributed considerably to Nigeria’s inability to fulfill its OPEC objective,

“The rate at which investments were pulled away was too rapid,” he said in a statement issued in Abuja by his media adviser, Haratius Egua.

“Lack of investments in the oil and gas sector contributed to Nigeria’s inability to meet OPEC quota. We are not able to get the needed investments to develop the sector and that affected us.”

Security concerns, according to Sylva, are another important reason contributing to the sector’s lack of considerable expansion, while climate activists’ push for renewable energy has discouraged funding for the industry.

The minister, on the other hand, called for a shift in mindset, stating that hydrocarbons will continue to play a critical role in supplying the world’s energy demands for decades to come.

Despite Nigeria’s full support for the energy transition, Sylva reminded participants at the event that the country and the African continent should be allowed to grow at their own speed.

He claimed that this would allow African countries to address the energy needs of the continent’s 600 million inhabitants who lacked access to any type of power.

He said, “There are about 600 million people in Africa without access to power and of that number the majority live in Nigeria.

“And of the over 900 million people without access to power in the world, the majority live in Africa. So how do we provide access to power for these people if you say we should not produce gas?

“We believe that gas is the way to go. We believe that gas is the way forward and the one access to power. We need to have an inclusive energy transition programme.”

Sylva added, “Yes, we believe in energy transition but we as Africans have our own peculiar problems and we are saying that our energy transition should be focused on gas to bridge the energy gap. This is what we have been saying.”

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