How we can boost petroleum industry —Kachikwu

MINISTER of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has identified seven key implementation strategies to boost the petroleum industry and enable export of refined products by 2019.

He announced this at the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum between the Private Sector and the Economic Management Team in Abuja, on Monday.

Represented by Mr Johnson Awoyemi,, the Senior Technical Adviser of the ministry, the minister identified peace and security in the Niger Delta region as crucial in the programme.

Kachikwu mentioned policy and regulation; business environment and investment drive; transparency and efficiency; stakeholder management and international coordination as primary concerns of the ministry.

The others, he said, were engaging in gas revolution as well as increasing refineries and local production capacity.

“Oil and gas will drive diversification but the drop in oil production to 1.56 billion barrels per day from the annual estimate of 2.2 billion barrels per day will negatively affect growth,” he said.

The minister stressed the need to empower the Niger Delta region and ensure peace in the region by stopping militancy in enhancing the attainment of national aspirations in oil and gas production.

He explained that there was 29 per cent decline in oil production amount to loss of 700,000 million barrels per day.

Accordingly, there was 32 per cent decline in gas production from 8,000 million cubic feet per day to 5,500 million cubic feet.

He announced that 3,000 pipeline vandalism incidents were recorded from 2010 to 2015, while 643 million litres of petroleum products amounting to N51.28 billion was lost in 2015 alone.

The minister explained that between January and June 2016, the ministry recorded 1,600 vandalism incidents in spite of efforts to boost local production and refining of products.

“Until we are able to locally refine what we produce, we won’t be able to go forward. It is the plan of the ministry that by 2019 the country has to export Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” he said.