Tuesday, 31 January 2012

THE NIGERIAN OIL AND GAS SECTOR

Nigeria has a population of over 110 million people and an abundance of natural resources, especially hydrocarbons. It is the 10th largest oil producer in the world, the third largest in Africa and the most prolific oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Nigerian economy is largely dependent on its oil sector which supplies 95% of its foreign exchange earnings.
The upstream oil industry is Nigeria’s lifeblood and yet it is also central to the ongoing civil unrest in the country, which gained worldwide publicity with the trial and execution of Ken Saro Wiwa, and eight other political activists in 1995.
The upstream oil industry is the single most important sector in the economy. According to the 2011 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Nigeria had proved oil reserves of 37.2 billion barrels at the end of 2010, equivalent to 42.4 years of current production and 2.68 % of the world's reserves. The Nigerian government plans to expand its proven reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2010. Most of this is produced from the prolific Niger River Delta. Despite problems associated with ethnic unrest, border disputes and government funding, Nigeria’s wealth of oil makes it most attractive to the major oil-multinationals, most of whom are represented in Nigeria, with the major foreign stakeholder being Shell. Nigeria produced an average of 2401.6 thousand barrels of crude oil per day in 2010, 2.94% of the world and a change of 16.2 % compared to 2009.
According to the 2011 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Nigeria had 2010 proved natural gas reserves of 5.29 trillion cubic metres, 2.82% of the world . Due, mainly, to the lack of a gas infrastructure, 75% of associated gas is flared and 12% re-injected. Nigeria has set a target of zero flare by 2010 and is providing incentives for the production and use of gas. The government also plans to raise earnings from natural gas exports to 50 percent of oil revenues by 2010. It has been reported in the 2011 BP Statistical Energy Survey that Nigeria had 2010 natural gas production of 33.63 billion cubic metres, a change of 35.6% versus 2009 and equivalent to 1.05% of the world total.
Nigeria's downstream oil industry is also a key sector including four refineries with a nameplate capacity of 438,750 bbl/d. Problems such as fire, sabotage, poor management, lack of turn around maintenance and corruption have meant that the refineries often operate at 40% of full capacity, if at all. This has resulted in shortages of refined product and the need to increase imports to meet domestic demand. Nigeria has a robust petrochemicals industry based on its substantial refining capacity and natural gas resources. The petrochemical industry is focussed around the three centres of Kaduna, Warri and Eleme.
Until 1960, government participation in the oil industry was limited to the regulation and administration of fiscal policies. In 1971, Nigeria joined OPEC and in line with OPEC resolutions, the Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC) was established, later becoming NNPC in 1977. This giant parastatal, with all its subsidiary companies, controls and dominates all sectors of the oil industry, both upstream and downstream.
In April 2000, the Nigerian government set up a new committee on oil and gas reform to deal with the deregulation and privatisation of NNPC. Seven subsidiaries of NNPC are due to be sold including the three refineries, the Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company and the partially owned oil marketing firm, Hyson Nigeria Ltd.
Nigeria is a member of OPEC and is its 12th largest producer. The former Secretary-General of OPEC, Dr Rilwanu Lukman, is a Nigerian national and Petroleum Advisor to the President.
The petroleum industry in Nigeria is regulated by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The government retains close control over the industry and the activities of the NNPC, whose senior executives are appointed by the ruling government.http://www.mbendi.com/indy/oilg/af/ng/p0005.htm

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