The minister of petroleum resources, Mrs.Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said that the country’s oil production would, within weeks, average about 2.68 million barrels per day (bpd), up from the current production level of 2.5 million bpd.
This is even as she informed that the federal government will today (Wednesday) renew licences for three offshore oil fields operated by ExxonMobil.
The minister made these disclosures during her presentation at the ongoing 2012 Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference yesterday in Abuja.
“Tomorrow, we will sign the renewal of three joint venture licences operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria,” she stated.
She further explained that the expected increase in oil production would come from 180,000 bpd Total-operated Usan deepwater field which is expected to commence operations in a couple of weeks.
“Our current production, including crude oil and condensate, now stands at 2.5 million barrels per day as against 2.39 million barrels per day which was recorded last year. In a few weeks from now, we hope to add 180,000bpd to our production when the Usan deepwater field comes on stream,” she said.
According to her, the country’s refinery utilisation capacity would increase to about 90 per cent in the next two years when all maintenance efforts at the refineries would have been completed by their original builders
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), she said a new draft of the bill which is aimed at reforming the country's oil and gas industry would be submitted to the president within six weeks for consideration and onward transfer to the National Assembly.
“The special PIB committee set up recently would soon submit its report, which will be passed on to President Goodluck Jonathan for onward submission to the National Assembly,” she said.