By Bassey Udo
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has unveiled a plan to realise Nigeria’s aspiration of raising oil production from the current average of 2.5 million barrels to 3million barrels.
The plan is contained in short, medium and long-term strategies by the Commission obtained by MEDIATRACNET on Sunday in Abuja.
Conscious of the latest development in the global arena where crude oil price at the international oil market currently is rising to about $100 per barrel, NUPRC said the idea behind the plan was to position the country to take full advantage of the situation.
In the short term, and in line with the provisions of the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021), the Commission said part of the plan was the implementation of approved oil field development plans (FDPs) to realise extra capacity.
Already, the Commission said it has commenced detailed revision of oil field wide subsurface studies, in collaboration with industry operators, to increase country’s oil production volumes.
Also, the Commission said innovative ways were being employed in collaboration with industry players to optimize reservoir management techniques with adherence to Technical Allowable Rates (TAR) through statutory enforcement of maximum efficient rates (MER) tests, in line with the provisions of the law.
“With these initiatives put in place, it is expected that we can boost Nigeria’s oil production capacity to about 3 million barrels per day in the short term,” the plan revealed.
In the medium term, the Commission said part of the plan would be to encourage the deployment of technologies to mitigate community concerns and unlocking by-passed reserves.
The oil industry regulatory authority said it has intensified efforts with technical justification for infill wells, by granting approvals where necessary to increase oil production.
Other strategies, the Commission said, include the deployment of deep play exploration and drilling in onshore, swamp, offshore locations to encourage data acquisition for a minimum of 10,000m/8s of depth/time to unlock potential targets for exploitation.
The Commission said plans were ongoing with industry players on stranded deep offshore assets that could readily be matured to production to augment losses from onshore facilities.
Besides, the Commission said with its extensive engagement with industry players, a partnership initiative has been developed with speculative survey companies to de-risk the various frontier terrains (offshore and onshore) to enhance oil production in the long-term.
With the enactment of the PIA, the Commission said the implementation of the Host Communities provisions was key to realizing the 3million barrels per day production target.
To drive implementation of the Host Community Fund as prescribed in the PIA, the Commission said a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) with a Template (Regulations) has been established to manage the process.
Although curbing crude oil theft falls within the purview of the nation’s security agencies, the Commission said allowing the perennial menace to fester would negatively impact on the renewed drive towards increased oil production.
Consequently, part of the plan was that the Commission was collaborating with other government agencies to drastically deal with the challenge and reverse the trend of huge revenue losses to the Federation through crude oil theft.