Encouraged by the recent improvements in the oil production output in Nigeria, the group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that the country could hit 2.2 million barrels per day in 2023, without OPEC quota rationing.

Kyari who spoke at the virtual Global UAE Energy Forum, said however that despite all odds, the Nigeria aims at producing 1.8 million bpd this year.

Last month, the NNPC put Nigeria’s daily oil production at 1.59 million bpd, a Bloomberg survey pegged it at 1.35 million bpd, while the industry regulator, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) data revealed a 1.235 million bpd volume, excluding condensates.

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But when condensates which are outside OPEC’s calculation are added, the figure released by the NUPRC in its latest crude oil and condensate production data for December 2022, rocketed to 1.413 million bpd.
Despite being lower than the roughly 1.8 million bpd OPEC allocation to Nigeria, it showed that crude oil production increased from 1.18 million bpd in November.

The output will be the highest production level since March 2022 when the country’s production averaged 1.237 million bpd.

Kyari regretted that Nigeria struggled through the last couple of years to achieve its OPEC quota in 2022. According to him, the country had a “different challenge” from the rest of the world, as security issues undermined output.

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“For us, we see a trajectory of restoring production, including condensates within the year definitely. And we believe that we can hit our target of 2.2 million barrels per day, although now our OPEC target is 1.8 million barrels per day. We know that it’s practical to do 2.2 million barrels per day.

“We took definite steps to increase production and this is paying off. Around July, our net crude oil excluding condensate came down to around 1million bpd. That has been restored,” Kyari said.
He stressed that the Nigerian government has taken practical steps to checkmate oil infrastructure vandals and crude oil stealing.

Last August 2022, the Nigerian government struck a deal with a former militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, to crack down on oil theft.

“It’s practical to hit 2.2 million bpd in 2023, this is practical. It’s a moving target,” Kyari said, adding that: “There are a number of projects that I have clear line of sight that can come on board in 2023.”

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