Nigeria, the largest oil producer and exporter in Africa, hopes that its newly adopted petroleum industry law will help it hike its oil production by 310 percent to 4 million barrels per day (bpd), Nigerian Petroleum Minister Timipre Sylva said this week.
Nigeria currently produces just below 1.3 million bpd, as per OPEC’s latest official data. The African OPEC member is one of the OPEC producers that have struggled in recent months to pump as much oil as their quota under the OPEC+ deal allows, due to force majeure circumstances at pipelines carrying crude to export terminals.
The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which became law in August, will help Nigeria achieve its target to pump 4 million bpd, minister Sylva said at an energy conference, as carried by local outlet Premium Times.
The new law will also allow the country to increase its crude oil reserves from 37 billion barrels to 40 billion barrels, and to extract more gas, which it sees as a key fuel in the energy transition, the minister added.
“First is the Focus on Gas. For us, this is at the heart of the energy transition and represents the first step in the journey to renewables away from oil. Already, we have declared that gas is our transition fuel, and also represents a destination fuel, as we envisage that it will be part of our energy mix by 2050, given the vast resources that can be commercialized and utilized,” Sylva said.
In the middle of August, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the country’s newly passed petroleum bill into law, marking the end of 20 years of efforts at Africa’s top oil producer to overhaul its oil industry. The new petroleum act aims to attract more foreign capital to the country’s oil sector, Nigeria says. The bill took two decades to be finalized, and hopes to overhaul the way Nigeria will share its oil resources with international oil companies as the country looks to attract new investment in oil and gas.
By Charles Kennedy