By G9ija

As part of efforts to arrest the continuous dwindling of the national economy, the Federal Government has reopened shut-in crude oil well in the Niger Delta.

Data obtained from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in Abuja on Tuesday, showed that the FG is focused on increasing production to about 2.1 million barrels of oil daily, with an estimated worth of N2.4tn monthly.

Sources in government circles are optimistic that crude oil production should move up to about 900,000 barrels of oil per day, based on quick interventions on the shut-in wells, while the medium and long-term initiatives could add 1.2 million barrels of oil daily.

This implies that about 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, or 63 million barrels monthly, would be produced from the facilities.

With an average price of $83/barrel for Brent, the global benchmark for crude, the government would earn about $5.23bn monthly (N2.41tn at the official exchange rate of N460.97/$) through oil production from the shut-in wells currently being revived.

In his latest industry paper, titled, “Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Sector: Value Optimisation, Energy Transition and Regulatory Perspectives,” the Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed that a committee was currently working on reviving the shut-in wells.

He said, “As part of our strategy for value optimisation and increased production from our national oil and gas reserves, the commission has focused on regulatory initiative aimed at reviving declining wells through enhanced oil recovery approach.

“We are working with operators to identify candidate wells and appropriate interventions that would lead to increased production. In addition, the commission is focusing on shut-in wells which can be revived.

“In pursuance of this, the commission inaugurated a committee on June 23, 2022, to conduct industry-wide study on reactivation of shut-in strings.”

According to Komolafe, the committee had submitted its report, which had recommendations categorised into quick wins, medium and long-term initiatives that would enhance national oil and gas production volumes.

“Findings from the report revealed that over 900,000 barrels of oil per day can be earned from the quick win interventions while the medium and long-term initiatives could potentially add 1.2 million barrels of oil per day if properly and fully implemented,” he added.

He also pointed out that, “The total number of strings that need to be revived is also known and we have commenced engagement with the relevant operators to operationalise the initiative.”

Komolafe explained that this was in alignment with the commission’s objectives, as outlined in Section 6 of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.

He noted that based on this, the commission was pursuing the basic regulatory goals, which include increasing Nigeria’s oil and gas reserves and production, developing a transparent approach to hydrocarbon accounting, and attaining operational efficiency and effectiveness in industry operations.

“In addition, the commission is committed to facilitating peace and harmony in the host communities to guarantee conducive operating environment for investors, positively impacting on operating cost and attracting more investment opportunities,” he stated.

Komolafe said there had been strategic actions for hydrocarbon value optimisation by the commission, adding that in keeping with industry laws and regulations, the NUPRC had issued an oil licensing round guideline.

He said the commission had also published a licensing round plan for a total of seven open oil blocs, including 300-DO, 301-DO, 302-DO, 303-DO, 304-DO, 305-DO and 306-DO.

“We are currently evaluating the Expression of Interest received from prospective investors. The exercise is indeed expected to be a huge success for Nigeria and a big step towards growing the nation’s oil and gas reserves.

“This will be done through aggressive exploration and development efforts,” he stated.