Oil sector attracted $16.6bn investments under Tinubu – Minister

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Tinubu

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, on Thursday, announced that about $16.6bn investments had been committed to Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in the past one year.

He spoke in Abuja while providing updates on achievements in the oil sector since President Bola Tinubu assumed office on May 29, 2023.

Speaking on what was being done to attract investments, the minister said, “One of our main objectives has been to create an environment where investments can thrive. For over a decade, the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Act and inconsistent policies had driven investments away.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that our efforts have rekindled investor confidence in the sector. Notable examples include investments committed to the tune of $5bn and $10bn in deepwater offshore assets; and $1.6bn investment commitment in oil and gas asset acquisition.

“The very high global interest is noted in the ongoing bid round of assets coming online, arising from the recent roadshow activities in the United States and Europe.”

Lokpobiri also pointed out that Nigeria witnessed increased crude oil production since Tinubu assumed office.

“Our foremost achievement is the significant increase in production. When we took office, production was at approximately 1.1 million barrels per day, including condensates.

“Today, I am proud to report that we have increased our production to approximately 1.7 million barrels per day (inclusive of condensate). This increase is a testament to our relentless efforts to streamline operations and resolve conflict among stakeholders,” the oil minister stated.

On steps taken to increase crude oil production, Lokpobiri stated that efforts were made towards revamping redundant oil assets to active status.

He said there were continuous engagements with international oil companies and Independent Petroleum Producers Group members in resolving industry disputes towards increasing production.

Lokpobiri added, “Resolutions of internal joint venture contracts feud between joint venture partners on critical production fields. Engaging local communities with critical assets running through them to protect the assets, all in a bid to decrease oil theft across the country.

“Consolidating existing security framework with private security firms and government security agencies for pipeline surveillance, which led to a sharp decline in crude oil theft and thus increased production for export.”

The minister further noted that during this period, “we also experienced the coming on stream of OMLs 13 (Sterling Exploration) and 85 (First E&P), with the respective assets reaching first oil in the development of their licenses.”

Lokpobiri explained that these “assets are expected to produce an average of 20,000 and 40,000 barrels per day respectively,” adding that “this achievement is another testament to the commitment of this administration to optimise production from the nation’s oil and gas assets.”

In commemoration of his first anniversary in office, Tinubu had directed his ministers to present their performance reports to Nigerians.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, while announcing this at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, had stated that the low-key first-anniversary celebration would be marked with sectoral media briefings by the 47 federal ministers starting on Thursday.