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The 2021 Annual Statistical Bulletin of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries released on Wednesday showed a drop of 543 million barrels in the crude oil reserves of Nigeria.
Figures on world proven oil reserves by country as contained in the bulletin indicated that Nigeria’s oil reserves dropped from 37,453 million barrels in 2016 to 36,910 million barrels in 2020.
The Federal Government had repeatedly stated that it was making efforts to grow the country’s oil reserves in a bid to increase Nigeria’s revenue from crude sales.
On August 10, 2021, The PUNCH reported that the target of the Federal Government was to increase Nigeria’s oil reserves from the 36,910 million (36.91 billion) barrels to 50 billion barrels in the short to medium term.
This was disclosed by the Director/Chief Executive, Department of Petroleum Resources, Sarki Auwalu, during a workshop with industry partners.
Further analysis of the latest OPEC bulletin showed that the country’s oil reserves stayed at 37,453 million barrels in 2017, before dropping to 36,972 million barrels in 2018 and 36,890 million barrels in 2019.
OPEC, an organisation that has Nigeria as a long-standing member, also stated that the country’s active oil rigs during the five-year period increased from nine in 2016 to 49 in 2020.
According to the cartel, the number of oil wells that were completed in Nigeria moved up from 76 in 2016 to 81 in 2020.
The country also completed 76, 81 and 100 oil wells in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.
On daily and cumulative crude oil production, OPEC stated that the average daily production of oil in Nigeria in 2020 was 1.486 million barrels, while the cumulative production in same year was 34.42 billion barrels.
The report showed that while the country’s average crude oil production was 1.43 million barrels per day in 2016, it moved up to 1.54mbpd in 2017.
Also, the average daily crude oil production in Nigeria increased in 2018 and 2019, as the country recorded 1.6mbpd and 1.74mbpd respectively in both years.
The country’s average daily oil production, however, dropped to 1.49mbpd in 2020, according to statistics released by OPEC.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had disclosed this at the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, as he called for collaboration among operators to achieve the feat.
The minister said, “This year’s NIPS comes on the eve of the award of new marginal field licences after several failed attempts over the past 20 years.”
He added that getting the new set of marginal fields off the ground was definitely a stepping stone towards achieving the country’s aspiration of meeting the target of 4mbpd oil production and 40 billion of proven reserves.