FG to begin oil production in North-East, Says Petroleum Minister

…Warns Nigerians to be ready to bear pains of high petrol cost

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has revealed plans by the Federal Government to begin oil production in the North-East.

Sylva stated this during a recent interview on a television programme in Abuja, which aired on Monday.

“I have said it a few times that we have found oil in the North-East and we have started drilling activities in the Lake Chad Basin”, he said, adding: “I don’t know how the discovery of oil in the area will impact all the issues there; but on our side, we believe that in a very short time, we will start production”.

Sylva also reacted to the piracy, oil bunkering and illegal refining in the oil-producing region, saying such activities had reduced when compared to what was obtained in the past.

The minister has also asked Nigerians to brace for the pains of increased petrol pump price as crude oil price climbs above $60 per barrel.

Speaking at the official launch of Nigerian Upstream Cost-Optimisation Programme yesterday, Sylva said with no provision of subsidy in the 2021 budget, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), cannot continue to bear the cost of under-recovery.

Presently, the pump price of petrol ranges from N160–N165, the price set when crude traded just above $43 per barrel, four months ago.

According to the minister, while government revenue has improved by the rise in crude oil price, it cannot be fretted away in subsidy payment.

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