By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo
Country’s energy outlook remains positive amid headwinds
Company to focus on domestic refining capacity
Nigeria sees itself securing oil and gas investments worth $48 billion between 2018 and 2025, which is 25% of a $194 billion surge of capital anticipated to flow into Africa during the eight-year period, according to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
“The nation’s energy outlook appears very positive even amidst the difficult operating and economic headwinds across the continent,” Maikanti Baru, the outgoing group managing director of the company also known as NNPC, said at an oil and gas conference in the capital, Abuja. “For Nigeria, therefore, oil and gas remain essential building blocks for our economic growth.”
Crude output for Africa’s largest producer is currently in the region of 2.2 million to 2.3 million barrels per day, with reserves at 37.5 billion barrels, the second-biggest in Africa after Libya’s, according to Baru. Nigeria also has the ninth largest gas reserves at 201 trillion cubic feet and an estimated potential of 600 trillion cubic feet, he said.
These resources provide opportunities for investors and the government is determined to create the environment that will help drive the necessary investments in a sustainable manner, according to the state oil company. Given growing local demand for petroleum products, the NNPC has undergone a shift in its business model to focus more on domestic refining of crude.
“The recent fiscal challenge experienced by the nation places a burden for change,”Baru said. “Hence, we have undertaken to broaden the base of investment sources.”
Baru, who will officially retire from the corporation on July 7, will be succeeded by Mele Kyari, the former head of the crude-marketing division.
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