According to a 112 page national petroleum policy document approved by the federal executive council this week, Nigeria plans to cut its oil exploration costs and move away from reliance on crude for export revenues, Reuters reports.
The document said Nigeria expects oil prices to stay near $45 per barrel “for the foreseeable future” and that it must diversify its economy and develop its own refining and petrochemical sectors given the possibility that the era of oil booms may be over for good. The policy said Nigeria would aim to reduce the cost of extracting its oil, which at $29 per barrel is “one of the highest” in the world. The policy is largely an outline of what the government will look to include in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The petroleum policy also calls for a regulator to oversee the oil industry, more private investment across the sector and the revival of Nigeria’s refineries, which have not operated consistently at more than 50% of capacity since 2002. The policy also called for a removal of petrol price caps and the permanent elimination of fuel subsidies. Despite its ambition however, some analysts said the plan was lacking in detail and could face significant legislative hurdles.