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FG plans to raise oil reserves by 40 billion barrels

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(Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

The Federal Government is planning to increase its oil reserves by 40 billion barrels and gas reserves to 220TCF by 2030.

Also, the government is planning to increase oil production capacity to three million barrels per day.

Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Sarki Auwalu, disclosed this at the Second Quarter, 2021 Business Dinner of The Petroleum Club, Lagos sponsored by AA Holdings.

He revealed that the Federal Government’s target is to dominate the  oil and gas market in the West African region with its ongoing refinery revolution and decade of gas initiative.

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“Nigeria must rewrite its history and reverse the resource curse syndrome which had plagued the country for decades by ensuring utilisation of its vast oil and gas resources for national development.

“The country has the population size and is geographically positioned to be a dominant player in the regional oil and gas market,” Auwalu said.

According to the DPR boss, the targets are achievable with the ongoing rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries, the coming on stream of the Dangote Refinery and other modular refineries that are under construction.

None of the West African countries, he said, has a refinery producing Premium Motor Spirit and this presents a great opportunity for Nigeria.

“We can take over the market and it is a future we are looking forward to”, he added.

Auwalu said the focus on development of the nation’s gas resources would help transform Nigeria to a gas-based economy, which would create employment opportunities for the populace.

“The passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly was needed to drive these initiatives because it would provide clarity in the legal framework, institutional alignment and improved investment climate,” Auwalu added.

He lauded members of the Petroleum Club for their contribution to the industry in the past decades, promising that the government would continue to partner with the private sector to achieve its vision for the oil and gas industry.

Earlier, the President, Petroleum Club Lagos, Dr. Layi Fatona, described the association as a group of persons who had played a key role in the petroleum industry and were desirous of improving its contribution to the economy.

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Fatona said the COVID-19 pandemic and the global energy transition had made it imperative for Nigeria to make use of its vast petroleum resources within the shortest possible time for national development.

The Manager of The Petroleum Club Lagos, Miss Ajibola Falilat Amidu, said the group founded in 2006 by Dr. Godswill Ihetu, had made several impacts on the sector.

“It was established to be an advocacy for the oil and gas industry and over the years, there has been an advocacy in that regard. Members have made several impacts, part of which is happening here today, bringing speakers of note to grace this event. The petroleum club is a platform where we bring people together and they meet each other, they interact, they talk about the future of the oil and gas industry,” she said.

The event, themed “A Discussion on the Future of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry” was also attended by Prof. Pat Utomi and the First Lady of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, among others.

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