Nigerian oil production is set for a timely boost, climbing to around 2.2 million b/d by early next year with the startup of the giant 200,000 b/d Egina field, oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said Tuesday. Africa’s biggest oil producer, Nigeria has not seen any major new oil projects in the last five years which makes the Total-operated Egina project even more pivotal.

The $16 billion deepwater project is the biggest oil and gas investment in Nigeria and will boost its plateauing crude production by over 10%. Production from the Egina field is due to start next month at around 150,000 b/d and could ramp up to 200,000 b/d after about six months.

“Egina should come into production in December or maybe January…Hopefully, that should lift us closer to 2.15 million-2.2 million by the start of next year barring any unforeseen shutdowns,” Kachikwu said in an interview with S&P Global Platts on the sidelines of the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town.

Kachikwu said foreign investment in the sector had improved and was “reasonably good,” noting that production could rise by a further 200,000-400,000 b/d over the next few years “if we get the right sort of financial investments that are required.”

Source: S&P Global Platts