Lagos, Nigeria — Nigeria's oil industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources, said Oct. 13 that the country is now aiming to increase its oil reserves, including condensates, substantially to 40 billion barrels by 2025.
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DPR Director Sarki Auwalu said the government would achieve its target through the expected upsurge in exploration programs from the small, marginal fields soon to be handed out to investors and the planned reform of oil sector that would stimulate investment.
Nigeria crude reserves, which stood at 38 billion barrels in 2015, have steadily declining over the past five years due to a combination of factors including lack of funds, security challenges in the main oil-producing Niger Delta region and uncertainty over the government's oil sector reform that has stifled investment in new exploration programs, industry analysts say.
"Nigeria's target of 40 billion barrels oil/condensate reserve by 2025 is a realistic and achievable target," Auwalu said at an online event.
"The policies and programs being implemented by the federal government, including the ongoing bid rounds for marginal oil fields, reforms in the oil and gas sector are geared toward realizing these aspirations," he said.
He added that Nigeria also aimed to increase its gas reserves to 210 Tcf by 2025 and to 220 Tcf by 2030.
Nigeria's oil reserves were 36.8 billion barrels as of January, a drop of 0.2% from a year earlier, the DPR said June 4, with Africa's largest producer missing a target of growing reserves as investment dries up.
Nigeria had previously set the target of 2020 and later, 2023 to raise its oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and crude oil production to 3 million b/d.
On June 1, Nigeria put 57 marginal oil fields located on land, swamp and shallow offshore terrains in the Niger Delta region up for auction, which it said would bolster its oil reserves and revenues battered by the slump in global prices.
The marginal fields are fields discovered and left unattended for no less than 10 years from the date of discovery, or fields that leaseholders may consider for farm-out as part of portfolio rationalization, according to the DPR.
NNPC urges passage of new oil law
Meanwhile, head of the state oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, Mele Kyari, said the company would put pressure on Nigerian lawmakers to consider and pass the delayed landmark oil reform legislation, the Petroleum Industry Bill into law.
Oil producers consider the PIB as the one piece of legislation that could overhaul Nigeria's oil sector and spur much needed investment in Africa's biggest oil industry.
"Although the Petroleum Industry Bill is still not yet over the line after two decades, it gladdens my heart that there is a renewed commitment on the part of everyone to get it passed. We will continue to push for the passage of the Bill," Kyari said according to an NNPC statement Oct. 13.