The lockdown imposed by government as a measure for containing the coronavirus spread across the country impacted the demand for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria, leading to a fall in the supply of the commodity by 20.6 per cent from 1.8 billion litres in March 2020 to 1.43 billion litres in May 2020, data released by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday has shown.
Sarki Auwalu, Chief Executive Officer of the DPR said at the Future Energy Leaders Nigeria live webinar put together by the World Energy Council that the supply of PMS had fallen by 25 per cent to 1.350 billion litres in April before growing by 5.93 per cent to 1.43 billion in May.
This is equivalent to an average daily petrol supply of 58.06 million litres in March, 45 million litres per day in April and 46.13 million litres per day in May.
Auwalu also revealed that diesel supply, which stood at 600 million litres at the end of March, plunged by 33.33 per cent to 400 million litres in April and remained at the same level in May.
He stated that Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate production was 68 million barrels in March, 66 million barrels in April and 58 million barrels in May.
The country exported 61 million barrels of crude and condensate in March, 62 million barrels in April and 56 million barrels in May.
The DPR boss noted that government’s resolve to conduct marginal field bid rounds at this period of the coronavirus pandemic was necessitated by the need to produce crude oil at a lower cost.
He said the cost of producing oil from marginal fields was pretty low because there is no exploration cost.
“The Federal Government chose to go ahead with the conduct of the marginal fields bid round now because of its realization of the need to cut cost in crude oil production at this crucial period in the economic life of the country,” he said.
Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, disclosed that personnel and logistics costs were the highest cost elements in oil and gas production, adding that these, in some cases, could each gulp 35 per cent of the expenditure of oil firms.
He identified other factors responsible for the high cost of production as security issues and losses on crude oil pipelines.
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