The chief executive officer of Kenyon International West Africa Limited, Mr. Victor Ekpenyong, has insisted that if Nigeria must benefit from the current increased oil price in the international market, the federal government and oil firms operating within the country must increase the nation’s oil production beyond its current levels.

Ekpenyong in a statement on Sunday called on the federal government to take advantage of the expertise of Nigerian firms to check oil theft and increase oil production.

Ekpenyong who is one of the players in Nigeria’s energy sector stated that although Nigeria has the capacity to produce up to 2.5 million barrels of crude per day, the unfortunate activities of oil thieves and vandals who frequently attack oil installations have forced oil operators to shut down their vandalized assets in the country.

He however said that an indigenous oil services company has developed a homegrown solution to oil theft and vandalism, which it refers to as Idle Well Management Solution, adding that it is currently being deployed in some oil fields and has proved cost effective and efficient. He therefore stated that securing Nigeria’s oil pipelines includes installation of the anti-theft devices on well heads where it makes it impossible to steal crude oil or vandalize well heads.

He said: “Nigeria has the capacity to produce nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, but now, it struggles to produce 1 million plus barrels a day.

“Some of the factors that caused the plunge in production are vandalism and oil theft. This has inevitably led to some Nigerian companies shutting down their operations.

“To salvage the situation, the government needs to conduct a situational analysis. From the information we have obtained so far, the country previously produced more oil, and we should enquire why our oil producing capacity is plunging as the days go by.

“Now that oil is above $100 per barrel, we should take advantage of it and maximize our revenue. Our government needs to devise plans on how to safeguard oil and gas assets and conduct community engagement.

“Currently, we have a lot of tech savvy youth in the country, and in community engagement, citizens can proffer some tech-solutions to these problems we face. Young people can develop applications that can track vandals. This can be potentially beneficial to both oil companies and the citizens as well.”


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