Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said that the oil production in Nigeria has risen tremendously.
Though Alison-Madueke did not give the figure of the current level of production, she said that the increase was as a result of progressive impacts of post-amnesty programme given to militants by the federal government.
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR), Andrew Obaje, disclosed this at the a-day Technology Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.
Alison-Madueke maintained that the conference afforded the government and other stakeholders an avenue to deliberate on better ways to addressing issues in the oil and gas industry.
She said the country is blessed with huge oil and gas resources, which are currently estimated at about 37.2 billion barrels oil reserves and 183 trillion cubic feet of gas as at January 2010.
The minister, however, said that the assets have not been fully exploited in the most efficient and economic way to the benefit of Nigerians due to the limited technological resources available to Nigeria.
“Am delighted to be here today to share with this body of professionals the current and future technology challenges in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
“Current Nigeria’s deep offshore oil and gas resources are yet to be fully developed and exploited despite government efforts to attract international investors,’’ she said.
The minister said the development and production of deep offshore resources is underpinned by the availability of the state-of-art technology, which she said in most cases is capital intensive that posed major challenges to Nigeria for sector.
“Our vision for the oil and gas industry is to have a sustainable growth in a manner that is profitable, safe, efficient and environmentally friendly.
“The Federal Government focus is on critical short and medium term deliverables that will create the desire impacts on the generality of Nigerians,’’ she added.
Speaking on Deep offshore Discovery, Exploration and Exploitation, the minister said that this is one of the areas were Nigeria has to invest heavily in order to optmise investment.
She said deepwater fields pose great challenges to operators because of the difficult terrain, for example initiating well control and operation using electronic instead of the traditional Hydraulic control system presently being used.
In a goodwill message the Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta, Samuel Odey, said that presently with post amnesty programme organised by the federal government militant in the Niger Delta region will no longer have militants but ex-militants.
Odey said that the first batch of the ex-militants will be posted to Calabar for training so as to develop them mentally and socio-economically.
“This development is an indication of growth and total commitment from the government in ensuring effective post-amnesty program succeeds in the region.
“Technology is the corner stone of oil and gas industry in Nigeria there is need foe all stakeholder to stood firm in ensuring total growth and efficiently in the industry,’’ he said.