WEF 2017: Delta deal could
boost output quickly, says Nigeria’s VP
다보스 소식 : 나이지리아 부통령 OIL 생산량 증가 언급 180만 bpd
boost its oil production above 1.8m barrels per day (bpd) “very quickly” if the
government is able to come to an agreement with communities in the restive
Niger Delta, the country’s vice-president said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the
World Economic Forum in Davos a day after his visit to the region, Yemi
Osinbajo said that the government had entered into talks with
representative groups in the Delta in a bid to hammer out grievances and bring
an end to the recurring militancy that has once again plagued the region.
“We’re close to
about 1.7 to 1.8m [bpd], but we think that could improve very quickly once
we’re able to sort out all the issues in the Niger Delta,” he said. “Yesterday
I was in the Delta and that was possibly the first direct engagement at the
level of the presidency with individuals there.”
output tumbled from a peak level of 2.2m bpd before the militant attacks began
to around 1.63m bpd in the third quarter of 2016. According to the government,
Nigeria has the potential to yield 3m bpd. The Delta, the crucial Southern
region which is home to some of the country’s largest oil reserves, has been a
source of instability for decades.
abundant mineral wealth, impoverished communities have long complained that
they see little of the economic benefits of an oil industry which has been
blamed by NGOs for wreaking substantial environmental damage while ignoring
local development. In recent months, militant groups have escalated campaigns against
oil infrastructure, including targeting pipelines for demolition and theft.
global backdrop of struggling oil prices, the effect on the industry has been
dramatic. A recent monthly financial report from the Nigerian National
Petroleum Company revealed that N12.754bn ($40m) was lost to theft across
Nigeria in November 2016 alone. Osinbajo blamed the situation in the Niger
Delta for a sharp drop in oil revenues last year.
described this week’s visit as an attempt to reach out to stakeholders in the
region, including representative groups such as the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, in a
bid to reverse the gloomy prognosis and put an end to the militancy.
“We have spoken
earlier to the Pan-Delta forum. The Pan-Delta Forum is a forum of leaders,
youths and civil society groups in the Niger Delta including the various ethnicities
and they are accredited by practically all the groups,” Osinbajo said. “They
presented what they describe as dialogue issues and we think that’s a sensible
roadmap as to what to do and what steps to take to resolve issues.”
vice-president also warned communities in the region that a long-term global
shift away from oil meant that time was running short to successfully turn
around the fortunes of the industry.
always going to have the kind of value oil has today, in 30 or less years it
may be less valuable,” Osinbajo said. “The message to them is let’s take
advantage of the window that we have, and we can’t afford the kind of
militancy that leads to low oil production, and time is running out. Their
response has been very positive – all they are saying is let’s engage, there
are issues around justice and resource control.
“It’s a sobering
message and the facts are there for all to see,” he added. “This isn’t to
frighten anyone or push anyone to negotiations.”