.Says Nigeria added just 500m barrels in 10 years
Nigeria has been losing huge billions of dollars accruable revenue as a result of failure to grow the nation’s oil reserves.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timpre Sylva, who made this disclosure, lamented that increase in the oil reserves has been stagnant since 2010.
According to him, Nigeria has officially not added more than 500,000,000 barrels of oil reserves in a little over 10 years.
He said apart from the period between 1998 and 2007 when it recorded a phenomenal rise in crude oil reserves, which rose from 22.5 billion to 37.5 billion barrels that the country has since experienced serious depletion of her reserves.
The minister stated this during a public hearing convened by Senate Joint Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Finance, Gas and Judiciary on the amendment of Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act of 2004 on Monday in Abuja at National Complex.
Sylva lamented that between 2007 and 2019 there was just an increment of 500,000,000 barrels.
He blamed the shortfall in revenue on lack of investment which has made it impossible for the country to grow its reserves.
The Minister also confirmed the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantity in the north-eastern part of the country.
He specifically said the discovery was made in Bauchi State part of the Gongola Basin.
The minister was not specific on possible quantity of crude discovered. He said investigation is ongoing.
Declaring the public hearing open, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, assured that the National Assembly is determined to pass the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act Amendment bill.
Sen. Bassey Akpan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream and co- chairman of the joint committee, said the Bill seeks to amend Section 5 of the Act for conformity to current realties.
He said: “Deep offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act must be economically beneficial to the FGN and that in any event”.
Apart from the Petroleum minister, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, top echelons of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and some major international oil companies were present at the public hearing.