Lagos - Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, says the nation's oil reserve could grow to 40 billion barrels by 2020 with daily production capacity of four million barrels.
Alison-Madueke, represented by Mr Andy Yakubu, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said this on Monday at a three-day annual conference and exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in Lagos.
Alison-Madueke, highlighting the strategies to be implemented to achieve growth in the nation’s economy, said that the Nigerian deep and shallow waters have the capacity to increase the productivity level.
She said that this could generate additional one million barrel per day within the next few years.
Alison-Madueke said that it would also contribute to the global supply of oil and gas, if it could be achieved before year 2020.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference was 'The future of Oil and Gas: Right Balance with Sustainable Stakeholders Participation'.
The minister said that the aggressive reform embarked upon by the Federal Government would reposition the oil and gas industry.
She said: "Critically, the current Nigerian crude oil reserve is over 36 billion barrels and a production capacity of about 2.5 million per day."
The minister said that these had made Nigeria the high supplier of crude oil, adding that the opportunity should be used to increase the country's production capacity.
Alison-Madueke said that if the oil and gas sector was further exploited, it shall provide the much needed increase in revenue, employment generation for our youths and further increase in the growth of other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
She commended the efforts of the society toward addressing some issues that were very crucial to the industry.
The minister, commenting on the deregulation of the downstream sector, said that it would lend a helping hand to the investors since it would guarantee the recovery of their investment.
"There is no doubt that the deregulation of the industry is going to help investors because it will guarantee their investment.
"The deregulation of the downstream, particularly as it affects kerosene and petrol are very critical to return on investment," she said.
Sir Ikechukwu Okafor, the SPE Chairman, said that the conference would provide a forum for healthy dialogue and purposeful engagement between the stakeholders on the future of oil and gas development.
"The aim is to stir our members and the general public to embrace and promote environmentally sustainable development of oil and gas in Nigeria," he said.