The Federal Government is in the process of legislating new oil and gas policies within the next few months.
Besides, Nigeria’s crude oil production in the Niger Delta region has reached about 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2016 crude oil production averaged 1.8 million bpd, including condensate.
The statutory objective of the new policies, according to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is to create a market-driven oil and gas industry, maximize production and processing of hydrocarbon, move away from oil as a source of income and as a fuel for economic progress.
Others are to minimise the environmental footprint of oil exploration and production, manage oil and gas resources and renewable energy.
Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at the Oil Producers Traders Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), added that the new policies are also expected to move the oil economy to gas, diversify supply options within Nigeria, ensure security of supply, extend gas to the domestic market to sustain the growth of electric and agriculture, gain the presence of Nigeria’s gas at the international market and to end gas-flaring.
Osinbajo listed the challenges in the oil industry to include security, institutional capacity, funding of investment, high industry technical cost, upstream legislation and fiscal regimes, downstream sector issues and infrastructural constraints.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said it had begun move to start drilling exploration wells in the Benue State sector of the Benue Trough.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, said this when he led a delegation to Governor Samuel Ortom.
He said the company had also concluded arrangement to build a biofuel plant that would turn out 84 million of alternative fuel yearly in the Agasha/Guma area of the state.
Baru, who noted that the NNPC team was in Benue to sensitize the government and people of the state on the mission, stated that the biofuel project would lead to employment generation as the project had the capacity to generate about one million direct and indirect jobs.
According to him, other benefits of the bio-fuel project include a sugarcane feedstock plantation of about 20,000 hectares; a cane mill and raw/refined sugar plant capable of producing 126,000 tonnes yearly as well as a fuel-ethanol processing plant.
He, therefore, called on the governor to facilitate the release of the Certificate of Occupancy for the 50,000 hectares of land required for the expanded biofuel project in the state.
Ortom, who expressed delight over NNPC’s oil exploration and biofuel projects in the state, said that the people of Benue were behind the two projects.