The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said Nigeria must reduce the cost of its crude oil.
He stated this on Tuesday when he hosted the Country Chair and Managing Director of Total E & P (Nigeria), Mr. Mike Sangster, who led a high-powered delegation of his Company on a courtesy call on Tuesday in his Office at NNPC Towers, Abuja.
“We have to bring down our cost of production of crude, as we are presently a laughing stock in the way we do our business”; “I don’t see how we can sustain the losses.”
The minister who also expressed his displeasure at the practice by some International Oil Companies (IOCs) which he expressed the hope that Total E & P is not among, of “selling our assets”, declaring that “those assets are amortized assets; you can’t sell what you don’t have!”
According to him, by now, he expected the country to be producing no less than four million barrels of crude per day (4mbpd) but decried the situation where we are still hovering between 2 million and 2.2 million!
He further stated that he is looking at the future of oil adding that the quicker Nigeria produce its oil, the better.
“Industry has to grow. We need to look at exploration. Our reserves are growing far less than expected.”
The Minister, who envisioned his administration of the sector to take a look at gas development said it is an angle that deserves attention.
Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Sylva said for the bill to achieve its set target for the Oil and Gas Industry, it must revisit by the National Assembly.
“We need to tidy up the regulatory environment with the National Assembly. I have called the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for us to meet with the National Assembly and have a timeline which we can announce to the world. We also need to harmonize the laws so that we don’t have too many” with which we can regulate the industry; the Honourable Minister said.
Speaking, the Total’s Country Chairman/Managing Director, Mike Sangster disclosed that the main purpose of the visit of his team to the Honourable Minister is not only to congratulate him on his well-deserved appointment, but also to express Total’s firm belief in the Minister’s readiness to proffer solutions to the challenges facing the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He further stated that Total would want to build on its longstanding partnership with Nigeria in such areas as cash call arrears.