Nigeria Increases Exploration in Order to Increase Oil Reserves to 50 Billion Barrels 

April 12, 2023

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) announced that the country’s state-owned oil company has begun exploring onshore frontier basins to increase the country’s proven crude oil reserves from 37 billion barrels to 50 billion barrels.

NNPC has stated that it will continue to explore its hydrocarbon resources even if the International Oil Companies (IOCs) are walking away. Lately, Europe and America, which produce the majority of the world’s dangerous carbon emissions, have increased pressure on Nigeria and other oil-producing countries to abandon their resources in favor of cleaner fuels. At the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ 2023 edition of the Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum in Abuja, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that the world is not leaving fossil fuels anytime soon, despite pressure from Europe and America to transition to cleaner fuels.

The new frontier exploration efforts aim to boost Nigeria’s reserves – currently proven at 37 billion barrels per OPEC data – to strengthen the country’s energy security and increase economic benefits for Nigerians, Mele Kyari said.

NNPC mobilized a drilling rig in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, and a positive outcome of the exploration could help boost reserves to 50 billion barrels and raise Nigeria’s crude oil production to 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in the medium term, Kyari said. Nigeria’s crude oil production increased by 72,000 bpd from January to 1.38 million bpd in February, according to the most recent Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) from OPEC. A recent security agreement between the Nigerian government and a former warlord in the Niger Delta appears to be deterring production threats and allowing a recovery in Nigeria’s oil production.

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