The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Austen Oniwon, has said the increased participation of Nigeria in the upstream sector would guarantee national security.
Oniwon according to a statement signed by NNPC Spokesman, Dr Levi Ajuonuma while receiving a 23man delegation of the faculty staff and top rankng military officers of the National Defence University, Pakistan recently added that the nation’s participation in the upstream would ensure that the country derives more benefits from the exploration of its hydrocarbon resources.
The GMD disclosed that NNPC Plans to increase its refining capacity from 450,000 barrels per day to 850,000 barrels per day through the building of three more refineries in Lagos, Kogi and Bayelsa State.
He explained that it was in line with the commitment to increase local participation in the oil and gas sector that the two wells in which shell petroleum development company (SPDC) recently divested from were given to indigenous firms to manage.
He said going by the development around the world, nations must encourage local capacity in their upstream sector as international political developments might cause foreign stream players to abandon their posts thereby leaving an unprepared nation in the lurch.
According to him,” appreciate the technological challenges posed by the corporation’s efforts to participate in the upstream sector,” but stressed that it has plans to acquire the right technologies to achieve its goal.
He also said Nigerians in Diaspora who possessed expertise in the upstream sector would be hired to ensure that its target was achieved.
In spite of the ariuesty programme for the former Niger Delta Militants, he noted security remained a challenge in the sector as criminal elements were on daily basis breaking pipelines leading to losses suffered by the corporation and other players in the industry.
He disclosed that the corporation plans to increase its crude oil production from the current 80,000 barrels by its exploration arm, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to 250,000 barrels per day in 2015.