BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja with agency report
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, hinted yesterday that the nation’s crude oil production has hit two million barrels per day (2mbd).
This is even as the federal government has said there are plans to increase the feat to 3mbd in the nearest future.
Baru disclosed this in a chat with journalists after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the corporation and its subsidiaries in his office at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday.
The issue of the actual figure of crude oil production for the country had been shrouded in controversy.
While the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had in April said Nigeria was now producing oil at about two million barrels  per day, with Baru earlier saying the country had progressed to 2.1 million barrels per day, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stated otherwise.
The OPEC, via its monthly oil market report released in April, said Nigeria was still producing at an average 1.545 million barrels per day.
Nigeria’s oil production, according to OPEC, was yet to climb to two million barrels per day, even as it said the country’s production levels were still around 1.269 million barrels per day.
But Baru said he briefed the president on the activities of the corporation and its subsidiaries as well as on the relative stability in the nation’s oil and gas sector in recent time.
He noted that the president expressed delight over the reported stability in the oil and gas sector.
The GMD said, ‘‘I briefed Mr President on the state of the NNPC and its subsidiaries and also nationally to get him briefed on the situation of fuel supply, crude oil productions, gas production and, by extension, ability to supply gas to the power sector.
“We had an extensive briefing as you could see; I passed here over two hours. I spent quite some time with him to discuss these national issues”.
Baru also said the NNPC had no plan to increase prices of its products as being speculated.
Similarly, Petroleum minister, Dr Kachikwu, has said the federal government would do more to grow crude oil production from what it is presently to 3 million barrels per day.
He also noted that he was working assiduously to ensure that the cost of producing crude per barrel reduces from $28 to $18.
The minister disclosed this while reiterating the commitment of the federal government to build modular refineries in oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta as part of efforts to woo businessmen at the offshore technology conference holding in Houston, United States.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had on March 25 assured that the proposed modular refineries would be sited only in oil-producing areas as part of measures to address the developmental challenges in the area.
Kachikwu said a 10-point focus had been developed to attract massive investment and growth, with focus on equity collaboration with joint-venture partners, diversification of the downstream infrastructure, among others.

Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Provides Investments in Excess of $50bn
Meanwhile, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has said economic growth plan recently launched by federal government would provide strategic and economic partnerships in excess of $50 billion.
Kachikwu disclosed this yesterday, while wooing investors at an event organised in Houston, U.S. by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
He said, “The federal government of Nigeria has launched a National Economic and Growth Plan for the next four years. This is anchored on the Nigeria Oil and Gas Roadmap among other sectoral roadmaps.
“This roadmap presents exciting opportunities for financial and strategic partnerships in excess of 50 billion dollars (about N1.58 trillion).
“About 13 billion dollars -17 billion dollars will go to the upstream for the development of upstream gas fields with a total of 37.4 trillion cubic feet.
“14 billion dollars -17 billion dollars will go to the Trans-Nigeria gas pipeline project, gas revolution industrial park at Ogidigben and three power plants for additional 3.2 GW capacity in the gas and power sector”.
He added that 2.5 billion dollars – 5 billion dollars will be invested in licensing and establishment of modular refineries, collocate refinery within Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) and rehabilitating/upgrading the three refineries.
The minister continued: “In the downstream sector, about 3 billion dollars – 3.9 billion dollars will go to revamping of liquefied petroleum gas, building of new Compressed Natural Gas plants across the country and to pipeline and storage tank constructions.
“In addition, 0.7 billion dollars – 1 billion dollars will be invested in ventures such as equipment leasing, development of multi-specialist hospital and cancer diagnostic and treatment centres”.