Nigeria’s junior Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has disclosed that the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is making all necessary plans to begin oil exploration in the northeast of Nigeria.
The minister made the declaration during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on Monday. He said, “I have said it a few times that we have found oil in the northeast and we have started drilling activities in the Lake Chad Basin. I don’t know how the discovery of oil in the area will impact all the issues there but, on our side, we believe that in a very short time, we will start production.”
Sylva also stated that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed the world’s narrative, including the oil and gas industry. He recalled the recent virtual meeting held by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which Nigeria is a member, noting that such meetings were never envisaged before the COVID-19 era.
He further reacted to the piracy, oil bunkering and illegal refining in the oil-producing region of Niger Delta, saying such activities had reduced when compared to what was obtained in the past.
Again, his words, “Pipeline vandalisation is less than it used to be. Before now, we had less than 50 per cent production, I can assure you that pipeline vandalisation is less than it used to be. If you compare what happens now with what obtains in the past, I think it is less now.
“There is still a lot of piracy I understand, but the law enforcement agencies are dealing with it. We are looking at other ways of dealing with it and believe that in a very short time, we will be able to get the full handle on it,” he further said.