The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the Federal Government’s plans to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves, are on course and being boosted by strategic policies and programmes.

This is coming as the government commences the process of the implementation of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which is expected to attract the much-needed investment in the sector.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by Head, Public Affairs of DPR- Mr Paul Osu, Head, on Tuesday in Lagos.

Osu said the national aspiration of Nigeria was to increase its reserves from 36.91 billion barrels to 50 billion barrels, in the short to midterm.

He said the government was also targeting increasing Nigeria’s proven gas reserves from 206.53TCF to 250TCF.

According to him, the strategic focus for Upstream includes bid rounds, reserve growth, increased production, and reduction of production cost per barrel.

Osu said the majority of the companies that won the bid for the nation’s 57 marginal oilfields, had paid their signature bonuses to the Federal Government.

He noted that about 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day, would be added to Nigeria’s production volume within the next few years when the fields begin production.

Osu said the government was also looking at increasing frontier exploration activities, which had been given a boost by the recent signing of the Petroleum Industry Act, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

As part of measures aimed at increasing production, he said the DPR had initiated the Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for the oil and gas industry and would be rewarding deserving individuals and companies.

Osu said plans to reduce the cost of production to $10pb was still being implemented and was achievable, in order to attract more investors to the sector.

He said the DPR would continue to create opportunities for investors and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, as well as enable the successes of businesses, using its service instruments of licences, permits and approvals.

What you should know

It can be recalled that in October 2020, the DPR disclosed that the country is aiming to increase its oil reserves, including condensates, substantially to 40 billion barrels by 2025.

The DPR Director Sarki Auwalu said the government would achieve its target through the expected upsurge in exploration programs from the small, marginal fields that was just handed out to investors and the planned reform of oil sector with the signing of the PIA which would stimulate investment.

Nigeria crude reserves, which stood at 38 billion barrels in 2015, have steadily declined over the past few years due to a combination of factors which includes 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.