Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said at the weekend that Nigeria remains on track to surpass the crude oil production quota handed down to the country by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Last week, at the 36th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting, the producers’ group projected that Nigeria could only achieve an oil production quota of 1.5 million barrels per day in 2024.
Three consultancy firms, IHS, Rystad Energy, and Wood Mackenzie had countered Nigeria’s submission that it was ready to produce as much as the current 1.742 million bpd for next year.
But in their findings, the research firms projected that despite Nigeria’s pledges, the situation on the ground did not show that it could even meet the 1.58 million barrels per day initially being debated.
However, the minister who gave an incline as to how the proceedings went, stated in a post on his official X/Twitter handle at the weekend that Nigeria currently produces 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day.
The minister expressed the confidence that the country will surpass the projections in the 2024 budget.
The OPEC quota of 1.5 million bpd for 2024 also appeared to be at variance with President Bola Tinubu’s forecast in the proposed 2024 budget, wherein Nigeria adopted a daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million bpd.
Lokpobiri said: “Arising from the 36th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting held via video conferencing, I stated that Nigerians should know that our total production currently is 1.5 million bpd for crude and 300,000 bpd for condensate.
“So what we are producing is much more than what is projected in the 2024 budget estimate and as such, there is nothing to worry about.
“We are on track with the objective of maintaining and surpassing the quota, especially as we work productively towards resolving all bottlenecks that might pose as hindrances to the objective.”
The authorities had at various times promised to meet the OPEC quota, which Nigeria has failed to fulfil in at least three years, by latest this December. This seems not practical, although production has increased marginally in the last few months.
The chief executive emphasised the company’s readiness to collaborate with the federal government in advancing sustainable energy practices, aligning with the goals of the ongoing COP28.