Nigeria loses 1 mm bpd of oil in Niger Delta crisis
Nigeria 's crude oil production has continued to decline owing to the upsurge in violence in the oil-rich Niger
Delta, as statistics released by the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) showed that production deferment due to
the crisis was over 1 mm bpd.
The statistics, which was released by the DPR Acting Director (DPR), Mr Billy Agha during the stakeholder forum by the regulatory agency, indicated that both the reserves and the daily output are on the decline due to the restiveness in the Niger Delta. Although there are fears that the restiveness may deter the country from achieving the set targets of 4 mm bpd and reserves of 40 bn barrels by 2010, Agha said owing to the inclusion of condensate, the country currently produces over 2 mm as against the 1.7 mm bpd imposed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as condensate was not affected by OPEC quota restriction.
Exploratory activities in the region have been adversely owing to the lingering crisis, while severaloil and gas
producing wells have been shut down. The DPR boss however explained that the depleting reserves from 39 bn to 32 bn
barrels, was due to reserves re-evaluation carried out by the agency (DPR).
He said: "Yes, our ambitious target is to go to 40 bn barrels reserves recoverable by 2010. We moved our reserves almost to 39 bn barrels and then came down. We did not really deplete the reserves; what happened was that we re-evaluated our reserves using all the reservoir data available. We were almost at 40 bn barrels recoverable; we were at 39 bn and then we came back to 32 bn barrels but we are still evaluating the reserves because the reserves have kept on moving forward. We have taken the lowest mark of it at the worst scenario. Exploratory activities are still ongoing; developmental activities are still ongoing. So, we will prove more reserves and if we prove more reserves, I bet you, by the time we get to January 2010, if we don't surpass it, we will be very close to it. So, we are not doing badlyat all."
He also said that the DPR was doing everything possible to ensure that the execution of oil and gas projects conform
to the local content aspiration of the government.
"There is even a local content bill. Those things are in percentages. Today, it is a compulsory that the local content issue comes first in anything you want to do and we are trying to get it very much right", he said.
On the issue of gas flaring, Agha pointed out that there was no target date yet, stressing that the DPR had commenced
the process of ascertaining the actual volume of flared gas for the purpose of collecting the penalty. He disclosed
that during the first quarter of 2009, 456.58 bn cf of gas was produced, compared to 634.67 bn cf produced during the
same period last year. The DPR boss further disclosed that all new deep offshore projects must be zero flare as part
of the efforts to ensure that the country attains zero flare in no distant future.
The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo had set a production target of 4 mm bpd and reserves of 40 bn barrels by 2010, while targets of 45 % and 70 % were set for the local content by 2006 and 2010, respectively.