Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says Nigeria is making progress in negotiations with Niger Delta militants, with daily oil production back to 1.9 million barrels.
Speaking in China on Monday, Kachikwu said Nigeria would hit its budgetary mark of 2.2 million barrels per day by July when the repairs at the Forcados terminal are done.
Earlier, Kachikwu said activities of militants had cut Nigeria’s production by 800,000 barrels to about 1.4 million per day, causing the nation to lose millions of dollars per day — but that is history now.
“All the way from January right through to about April, we were producing an average of 1.9 to 2.2 million barrels, which is basically between the threshold of 2.2 that we budgeted for the year,” Kachikwu told Bloomberg.
“Obviously in May and June, we suffered a lot of militant attacks, which took us down to about 1.3(million). We’ve managed to begin to lead conversations with the militants, a lot of engagement is taking place on the authorisation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We’ve been able to get production up back to about 1.8/9 million barrels per day as of two days ago. We are continuing those conversations and by the time the Forcados line is repaired in July, we should be able to come back to our production ceiling for this year, of 2.2(million).
“Things are looking up, engagements are trending positively, we’ve been able to make in-routes into those conversations, but what is more important is the need to continue that momentum and the need to look to a long term solution to the Niger Delta crisis.”
Kachikwu said he was in China to get about $40 billion to $50 billion in funding, to close the Nigerian infrastructural gap.
The minister is said to have met with the managing directors of Sinopec Group, Sinopec/Addax, Cinda Securities Limited and Jereh Group, at the NNPC-China investors’ roadshow in Beijing.
He said the meetings had begun yielding results, with a deal for $8.5 billion of investment with NORINCO — a Chinese company that manufactures vehicles, machinery, optical-electronic products — already signed.