Nigeria’s oil production rose by 350,000 barrels per day to 1.6 million amid reduced oil theft, the chief upstream investment officer of NNPC upstream investment management services, Bala Wunti, has said.
Mr Wunti said this on Wednesday during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show.
Nigeria for months failed to meet OPEC production quotas due to massive oil theft and other production challenges.
The federal government in its recent draft fiscal strategy paper for 2023 through 2025 said that oil revenue underperformed due to significant production shortfalls such as shut-ins resulting from pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.
In a bid to curb crude theft, the NNPC launched an application in August to monitor incidence of theft and vandalism. The NNPC also awarded a multibillion naira pipeline surveillance procurement to a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, Government Ekpemupolo.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Wunti said “Today, we have end-to-end visibility. We can detect, deter and respond. We are still making a lot of improvements in our response. In responding, we detect, deactivate, destroy and remove, which is a complex process.
“Sometimes, we have to destroy a whole vessel. Removing these vessels is a big job. And we are recording significant success because of the improved security situation. We are now almost at an average of 350,000 barrels increase.
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“At a certain level, we recorded up to 450,000 increases in a given year. So you can see, we’re now from 1.1 barely to about 1.59 barrels this morning. So these are some of the things we have been able to record on the new security architecture. I can tell you that we have succeeded to some extent to stop this menace,” he said.
On the security vulnerabilities in the Niger Delta, he said “As I speak to you, Brass and Bonny are on force majeure, that is about 300,000 barrels deferred already.