There is a palpable fear among policy makers over speculations that with Nigeria’s oil production outputs coming up to 2 million barrels per day, the exemption it is currently enjoying from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Country (OPEC) may soon be over.
According to information circulating among government officials, relative stability that the country is currently enjoying, which has increased its revenue base between February and April, 2017 may take away the cartel’s favour which listed Nigeria with Libya as countries not to cut outputs till further notice.
But the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, confirmed that the past two months of 2017 had seen Nigeria almost come back to its status before the Niger Delta crisis that took its toll on the sector, adding that much is still being expected.
Baru at a media chat in Abuja, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, told newsmen that there were indications that the 2.2 million bpd estimation in the two budgets of 2016 and 2017 would soon be met.
But in reality, the GMD said there were still some challenges on the way to full return to normalcy
He puts it thus:”The improved production output would have been sustained for a long time, but each time the pipelines were being attacked, it went down to 1.5m bpd, it at times reached 2 million.”
He confirmed that the closure of Forcados, a major export pipeline carrying nearly 250,000 bpd due to restiveness essential in the oil region, has only been open for three weeks in 2016, due to militant attacks.
It is believed that without the Forcados pipeline resuming full operation, it may be a herculean task meeting up the projected oil output for 2017.
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