The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the country is on the verge of finding oil in the Lake Chad area based on an analysis of a recent seismic 3D data generated from the basin.
He said, in a statement on Sunday, “There are signs from the latest 3D seismic studies that oil may well be very close to being found now in the Lake Chad after very many years of trials. I think that this is very key.
“It is key both for the geographical balancing of oil production and for the purpose of refinery placement in the North in terms of access to crude. I am optimistic that by the end of the year, we should be able to announce something major on this.”
Kachikwu noted that in developing Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, certain key areas had been identified for urgent intervention.
Some of them, according to him, are running production acreages with transparent and profitable partnerships to bridge capacity and funding gaps; encouraging investment inflow into the industry; engagement with local communities; and driving regulation to develop the sector’s income.
Providing specifics on the intervention targets, Kachikwu stated that the NNPC was projecting the inflow of $20bn in 2016 to enable the corporation to fund major projects and improve its bottom line going forward.
The NNPC GMD noted that to achieve quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, it was crucial to isolate the fiscal regime from the current draft and move swiftly to work on other pressing aspects of the proposed oil reform legislation.
He added that the corporation had identified 20 critical issues that needed to be addressed in order to reposition the 37-year old national oil firm.
Kachikwu outlined them to include reduction of audit cost, restructuring of corporate centre and staffing, renegotiating existing contracts, streamlining subsidy management, boosting pipeline security, enhancing transparency and accountability, zero tolerance on corruption, and unbundling the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company.
Other initiatives include the unbundling of the Nigerian Gas Company, reducing contracting cycle, restructuring of the refineries, improving information technology to drive business, improving staff and business performance management, restructuring Joint Venture funding and reducing cash call, and improving retail profitability.