TimeTestedNews |NNPCL rejects Senate move to jerk up oil production benchmark in 2024 budget

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has rejected a move by the Senate Committee on Appropriation to increase the crude oil production benchmark in the 2024 Appropriation Bill from 1.7 million barrels per day to 1.8mp/d.

Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, opposed the move proposed by the Senator representing Ogun West and Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, at the Budget Defence session between his Committee and management of the NNPCL on Friday, in Abuja.

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The Federal Government, in the 2024 Budget presented to the National Assembly by President Bola Tinubu, had projected an average crude oil production benchmark of 1.78m b/d and a crude oil price benchmark of $77.96.

Kyari, who told the Committee that NNPCL would stick to the benchmark approved by President Tinubu, argued that the crude oil price and production benchmarks were based on dynamics in the global oil market.

“I will advise that we stick to the submission of Mr President on the quota. There is no way we will get crude oil less than $70.

“Once economies are growing, there will be sustained demands for crude oil in our country and other countries.

“The estimates supplied by Mr. President are realistic. When we say production, we mean total production of crude oil and condensates.

So, we combine condensates and crude oil as total marginal production. So, we know our estimates are realistic. There is no curtailment on condensates from OPEC,” he said.
Kyari also told the lawmakers that illegal crude oil bunkering in the oil-producing states is alarming.

“The situation we have in Niger Delta in terms of security is a calamity. We don’t have that anywhere in the world. To engage non-state actors as a last resort as a solution is abnormal. But we have to respond abnormally.

“You have over 4800 illegal connections on our pipelines. That means, within every kilometre, you have an insertion. Even if you seal all the insertions, you can’t get what you want in terms of production. In the Niger Delta, people are coming from all parts of the country to do illegal refining. That’s why we engage locals to deal with it.

“We will contain this challenge. We are doing everything possible to restore sanity. What is happening is colossal damage to the environment and the host communities,” he said. Giving an update on the Turn Around Maintenance of the nation’s four refineries, Kyari insisted that the Port Harcourt refineries would come on stream in December while Warri Refinery would resume production in the first quarter of 2024 and December 2024 as the production target of the Kaduna Refinery.