By G9ija

The COVID -19 cost the global oil and gas industry some losses totalling $1 trillion, according to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director (GMD) Mele Kyari.

He attributed the losses to the decline in demand for oil and gas this year.

Kyari spoke at the opening of the virtual Nigerian Association of Petroleum Engineers (NAPE) 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition.

The theme of the conference was: “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves Emerging Concepts and Opportunities”.

He said: “We have a challenging task in the whole world.  The $1trillion loss is what the COVID-19 did to the oil industry.  This is quite monumental.”

The NNPC boss said without a clear incentive, no investors would entrust his or her money into gas.

He called for investment in the frontier basins of the country, noting that the corporation engaged in-country engineers in the exploration of the Benue Basins.

He said there was need for the reduction of cost of crude oil production to less than $10/barrel even as significant efforts have already been deployed to prune it.

Kyari challenged the stakeholders to state the volume of oil the country can add to its reserves.

According to him, oil is now found in virtually everywhere in the world, but the quality of Nigeria’s still gives the country a place in the international oil market.

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo assured the stakeholders that the curtailment of crude oil production would soon be over as the economy improves.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva, who represented him, said the persisting low oil demand had led to reduction in production and low revenue earnings.

He sought the reduction of cost of crude production to less than $10 per a barrel to increase revenue from the commodity.

Osibanjo said despite low demand for crude, Nigeria would sustain its target of 40 billion barrel reserves and three million barrels per day production.