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Nigerian Tribune: Nigeria’s oil output will reach 3 million bpd if… – Daukoru

MARTIN AYANKOLA and Agency Reports, Lagos – 14.06.2006

Nigeria’s daily oil production will approach three million barrels per day if the oil fields shut in the wake of militant attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta come on stream, the Minister of State for Petroleum and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] President, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, has disclosed.

The minister, who was speaking on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, disclosed that Nigeria’s oil production currently stood at 2.4 million barrels per day.

He was hopeful that the 550,000 bpd of production shut since February by militant attacks would return to service in a month, although he said Royal Dutch Shell feared it would take longer to restore output. “I hope it will be a month, but Shell says it would take a bit longer than that,” Daukoru, told reporters.

Past predictions that production would resume within a matter of weeks have not come to pass. Fresh output from Nigeria’s deepwater regions is compensating for shut-in output, boosting production to 2.4 million billion barrels per day, Daukoru said.

This is higher than the 2.29 million bpd figure estimated in a Reuters survey of analysts, consultants, and industry sources for May, released on Friday. “We’re ramping up deepwater production … Deepwater is making up for conventional territory,” he said on the sidelines of the Asia Oil & Gas Conference in Malaysia.

Over the past year Nigeria, the biggest oil producer in Africa, has begun pumping oil from a host of new deepwater fields including Royal Dutch Shell’s 225,000 bpd Bonga development and ExxonMobil’s 150,000 billion barrels per day Erha field.

More developments led by Total and Chevron are expected to follow over the next two years. Speaking in Seoul at the start of this week, Daukoru said Nigeria planned to boost its capacity by 1.5 million million barrels per day by the end of 2007, helping meet strong demand growth in Asia and the United States that has fuelled a surge in prices.

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