|NNPC targets 250,000 barrels of oil daily by 2015, Friday, 13 Apr 2012|
(The Punch) The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation plans to increase its crude oil production to 250,000 barrels per day by 2015, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Austen Oniwon, has said. Oniwon, according to a statement made available to our correspondent on Thursday by the spokesman of the corporation, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, said this when he received a 23-man delegation of the faculty staff and top ranking military officers of the National Defence University, Pakistan. Currently, the exploration arm of the corporation, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, produces 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The NNPC boss said increasing Nigeria's participation in the upstream sector would guarantee national security and ensure that the country derived more benefits from the exploration of the nation's hydrocarbon resources. Oniwon also disclosed that NNPC planned to increase its refining capacity from 450,000 barrels per day to 850,000 barrels per day through the construction of three more refineries in Bayelsa, Kogi and Lagos states.
He said it was in line with the commitment to increase local participation in the oil and gas industry that two oil wells in which Shell Petroleum Development Company recently divested from were ceded to indigenous companies to manage. Developments around the globe, according to him, dictate that nations must encourage indigenous capacity in their upstream sector, as international political developments may cause foreign upstream players to abandon their posts, leaving an unprepared nation in a lurch. The NNPC GMD said he appreciated the technological challenges, which the corporation would encounter in its efforts to participate in the upstream sector, emphasising, however, that it had plans to acquire the right technologies to achieve its target. He added that Nigerians in the Diaspora, who possessed expertise in the upstream sector, would be hired to ensure that NPDC's target was met.
Oniwon said that in spite of the amnesty programme for former Niger Delta militants, security remained a challenge in the sector, stating that criminal elements were daily braking pipelines, leading to losses being suffered by the corporation and other players in the industry. He said the NNPC was aligning fast to President Goodluck Jonathan's Gas Revolution Agenda, which by 2014, would have positioned Nigeria as the regional hub for gas-based fertiliser, petrochemicals and methanol industries. The gas initiative, he noted, would generate over 100,000 engineering-related jobs, as well as about 500,000 direct and indirect jobs in construction, logistics fabrication and agriculture.
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