The minister of state for petroleum resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has said that inspite of numerous challenges facing the oil and gas industry, government has managed to reduce significantly the cost of oil production which is now around $23 per barrel.
Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony of the second edition of the Nigerian Oil And Gas Opportunity Fair, NOGOF, with theme, ‘Maximizing Investments in the Oil and Gas Industry for the Benefit of the Nigerian People ‘ in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, Kachikwu, said efforts are being made to further reduce cost of production to about $15 per barrel.
The minister also disclosed that daily oil production has gone up to about two million barrels a day assuring sustainability of the feat following measures now in place to ensure security in oil bearing communities.
He said several projects have been completed in the industry like the Egina project which is producing about 150,000 barrels of oil a day.
Kachikwu however, expressed disappointment that despite the achievements recorded in the sector, there is nothing much to celebrate as positive impact of the industry to national development.
From fiscal policies down to community development the industry has not provided the level of expectations from the people.
The unfortunate aspect he stated is that huge investments is being diverted to neighbouring countries because Nigeria has not created the conducive atmosphere to attract such investments.
“Why we celebrate all nuances of achievements the sector has not be impactful, we ought to have developed our communities, either we are policy shy, or refused to take the lead or shy to take responsibilities.
We are still underdeveloped, underachieving and we are close to achieving the 4 million production target as we deliver 1.9 to 2 million barrels a day currently, but even at that why are we not taking over from the International Oil Companies, or produce a single oil firm that can transcend other West African countries”, he asked.
He therefore challenged indigenous oil firms and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB to take up the responsibilities of helping to transform the industry.
Source: Oriental News