FG To Revoke Unused Oil Well Licences Amidst $30 Billion Loss

Amid concerns over Nigeria’s dwindling oil revenue, the Federal Government has revealed plans to reclaim idle oil wells from operators and potentially revoke licences from individuals and companies that have failed to commence oil exploration activities.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, made this disclosure at an event hosted by The Petroleum Club in Lagos on Monday evening. Lokpobiri expressed deep concern over the country’s significant loss of revenue, estimated at $30 billion over the past two and a half years due to low oil production.

According to Lokpobiri, Nigeria has been experiencing a daily loss of approximately 480,000 barrels of crude oil production, attributed in part to the Seplat/ExxonMobil crisis. He emphasized that this decline has resulted in substantial economic losses, with the nation forfeiting millions of dollars daily.

The minister highlighted the urgency of increasing oil production to bolster revenue generation, a mandate entrusted to him by President Bola Tinubu.

Lokpobiri outlined plans to address the issue, including the allocation of idle oil wells to capable operators in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act. He emphasized the need to minimize the number of inactive wells, which he identified as a significant factor contributing to low production levels.

Outlining the government’s stance on unused licences, Lokpobiri stated, “I don’t need to know you to renew or sign your licence, and I will also not hesitate to cancel it… Let’s start to do things differently.”

Furthermore, Lokpobiri highlighted the importance of investment in the oil sector to stimulate growth, urging stakeholders to explore alternative funding options and partnerships to finance industry projects.

He emphasized the need for collaboration among industry players to address funding challenges and maximize investment opportunities in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Lokpobiri also addressed concerns surrounding the recent Seplat/ExxonMobil crisis, which has impacted oil production. He underscored the government’s commitment to resolving the issue and fostering an environment conducive to investment and growth in the sector.

Looking ahead, Lokpobiri expressed optimism about Nigeria’s potential to increase oil production to over 2 million barrels per day with sincerity and concerted efforts from all stakeholders.

The minister’s remarks underscore the government’s determination to revitalize the oil sector, mitigate revenue losses, and foster sustainable growth in Nigeria’s economy.

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