‘Low crude production, major loss of revenue to Nigeria’

Kunle Kalejaye

26 June 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS - PRESIDENT of Global Water and Energy Strategy Team, Mr Paul Michael Wihbey, has expressed concern over the low production of crude oil in Nigeria, adding that it is a major loss of revenue to the country.

Speaking at the Emerald Institute’s Energy Policy and Strategy, lecture series in Lagos, Wihbey warned that the country is now at the risk of losing its position at international oil market if nothing was done to boost oil production.

He said, “Other countries in Africa have joined the league of oil producing states, and they are increasing their crude oil export to Asian countries like China. He identified the non passage of the Petroleum Industrial Bill, PIB, as one of the factors affecting investments in the country’s oil sector.

He argued, “..the challenges facing the industry today are enormous. Some of them are widespread uncertainty about the state of the ongoing reforms in the industry with the non-passage of the PIB; slow-down of investment in virtually all aspects of the industry… low growth of our oil and gas reserves; confusion surrounding the renewal of leases held by some oil companies.”

As a result, he maintained that “Nigeria is committing economic suicide by not implementing the PIB. About $28billion of the energy sector investment was lost to neighbouring countries in 2010.”

Other implications of the non passage of PIB, Wihbey said, include the fall of oil production, onshore depletion, and offshore delay. “Production from current project will be steady until 2015/2016, then drop sharply unless investment increases,” he argued.

Speaking on, “Strategic Developments in the Middle East and Implications for the Nigeria Oil Economy,” Whibey noted “Decline in oil prices is a major concern for the country because Nigeria runs a single phase economy and the decline in oil prices will lead to depreciation in the country’s currency.

Also Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port-Harcourt, Prof Joseph Ajienka, said the partnership between the institute and the industry is worthy of emulation.