State Minister for Petroleum Resources Timire Silva has revealed plans by the federal government to start oil production in the northeast.
Silva said this in a recent interview with Channels Television’s Night news in Abuja, which aired on Monday.
“I have said several times that we have discovered oil in the northeast and started drilling in the Lake Chad basin,” he said.
“I don’t know how the discovery of oil in the area will affect all the problems there, but for our part, we believe that in a very short time we will start production.”
The minister also complained that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed world history, including the oil and gas industry.
He recalled that the recent meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Nigeria was a member, had taken place in practice, noting that such meetings had not been planned before the COVID-19 era.
Silva also responded to piracy, oil bunkering and illegal refining in the oil production area, saying similar activities had declined compared to what had happened in the past.
“The vandalism of the pipelines is less than before. So far we have had less than 50% production, I can assure you that the vandalism of the pipelines is less than before. If you compare what is happening now with what is happening in the past, I think it is less now.
“There is still a lot of piracy, which I understand, but law enforcement is dealing with it. We are looking for other ways to deal with it and we believe that in a very short time we will be able to deal with it, “he added.
Speaking about the conversion of gas, the minister explained that the policy is imposed by the federal government, which is issuing an alternative to Nigeria after the deregulation of oil, which will lead to rising oil prices.
Noting that gas is a cleaner and more efficient fuel, the minister regrets that previous administrations have not developed national gas, stressing that gas penetration in Nigeria is the lowest in Africa.