Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has listed three priority areas for the ministry and its agencies in 2021.
Sylva said the areas were passage and implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), increase in crude oil production and increase in domestic refining capacity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sylva made this known while declaring open the First Quarter 2021 Ministerial Governance Meeting on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said that the ministry was given nine priority targets by the government, noting that six of the targets had already been achieved through collaborative efforts of the ministry and its agencies.
Sylva said : “It Is my expectation that appreciable progress in the other areas would be made this year.
“For emphasis, these areas include: the Passage and implementation of the PIB, increase in crude oil production to three million barrels per day and increase in local refining capacity.
” In the last 20 years, PIB has remained the most debated issue in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
”Following the renewed cooperation within the Ministry and its sister agencies backed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the PIB is now before the National Assembly.”
According to him, when passed into law, it will guarantee a robust upstream fiscal framework beneficial to both government and investors.
He said that it would also unlock several midstream and downstream infrastructure opportunities to further enhance domestic oil and gas and their derivatives’ utilisation.
” With respect to the crude oil production, I am confident to announce that Nigeria currently has the capacity to deliver three million barrels per day.
“However, our commitments to OPEC+ cut has obligated us to shut in several producing wells as well as further activities to bring additional production on stream.
“This is now paying off in the area of higher global oil prices leading to higher government revenue locally,” Sylva said.
He said that the Federal Executive Council’s approval for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery at the sum of $1.5 billion would be followed shortly by the rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
Sylva said the ministry would continue to support other private I nitiatives at increasing local refining capacity.
He said the ministry’s achievements in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic include the Roll-out of the Auto Gas Initiative, establishment of the National Gas Expansion Programme and the Flag off of the National Gas Transportation Network Code.
The minister cited others as the completion of the Marginal Oilfield Bid Round, commencement of the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna- Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and the successful review of Sector Wide Domestic Gas Pricing.