Experts have kicked against the Minister for Petroleum and States Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s recent declaration that Nigeria’s oil production has risen to 1.9 million barrels per day.
On Monday, Kachikwu during an interview with Bloomberg, said Nigeria’s oil production is now 1.9 million litre per day as against the figure of 1.6 million bpd he declared in May 2016.
Before the spate of attacks in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s oil production was 2.2 million barrels per day, maximum 2.4 million bpd.
However, since new oil militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA took up arms after President Buhari’s May 27, 2015 take over, the country’s production dropped to 1.6 million barrels per day, according to Kachikwu.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s Spokesperson, Garba Deen Mohammed, also confirmed Kachikwu’s claim of 1.9 million barrels per day, citing a one-week break since a major pipeline attack in the Niger Delta, likewise repairs ongoing on the pipelines.
“Production has increased because we are making repairs to damaged pipelines and installations. And we have not had any major attacks in recent times,” Mohammed said.
However, investigations, backed by expert calculations, confirmed that since Kachikwu’s declaration of 1.6 million barrels per day in May, there have been other attacks which further slipped production to about 1.3 million barrels per day.
CEO/Chairman, Mentor Energy Consulting Ltd, Victor Eromesele, said the new figure of 1.9 million bpd, could not have been true taking into consideration that Kachikwu first declared 1.6 million barrels per day as far back as May, and just one week ceasefire could not have built up production at such speed.
“There is no way we can accept Kachikwu’s claim of 1.9 million barrels per day. Remember, he declared 1.6 million in May and still quoted 1.6 million until June despite other attacks that took place after May. Now it’s 1.9 million. Even if repairs have been made on the pipeline, it’s just one week so, production would not have jumped to 1.9 million,” he said.
According to Mr Taiwo Obe, Founder, The Journalism Clinic, most figures quoted by government agencies and International Oil Companies, IOCs are often times inflated.
“Journalists should not at all times believe figures declared by especially government agencies and IOCs. That is because most figures are inflated for their selfish gains,” he said.
In same May, Kachikwu himself said Nigeria loses 800, 000 barrels per day due to spates of attacks.
In June, NDA publicly boasted that it has reduced Nigeria’s production to 800,000 barrels per day, although the claim could not be ascertained.
The NDA has claimed responsibility for most of the recent attacks on oil and gas installations, with its last operation being the bombing of NNPC pipeline in Oruk Anam Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom on June 16.
Other companies’ pipelines that have been bombed included those of Agip, Chevron, and Shell.