Nigeria assured foreign oil investors on Monday that the African OPEC producer is open to business and can guarantee high returns on investment, the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari told an energy conference.
“Let me assure our foreign investors that your investments in Nigeria are very much secured and this can’t be better anywhere else,” the president said in an address at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit via a representative.
Nigeria’s oil production and exports have had a tough couple of years recently. First, pipeline sabotages by militants in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta area crippled production and exports of the joint ventures of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with foreign oil firms.
Over the past two years, militant activity has subsided, allowing Nigeria to boost its crude oil production, and also making Africa’s largest oil producer a full-fledged participant in the production cuts of the OPEC+ coalition.
Now pipeline vandalism and oil theft are major concerns for the industry and investment climate.
Nigeria is set to finally pass a new bill regulating the petroleum industry by the middle of this year, after nearly two decades of delays, the country’s Minister of Petroleum Timipre Sylva said at the same event on Monday.
Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director at NNPC, said at the international petroleum conference today that “We are, more than ever before, committed to working with stakeholders to increase our crude oil production from 2.3 million bbl per day to 3 million bbl per day.”
The recent amendment to the Deep Offshore Act will improve financial stability and investor confidence, NNPC’s head said, and added that the Nigerian state oil firm is working with technical partners to revamp its three refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Warri. NNPC has completed Phase 1 of the Port Harcourt project and is moving to Phase 2, while it also works on Phase 1 for the other two refineries, the company’s managing director said.