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45 rigs needed to normalize crude output

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By Abraham Adekunle

There is urgent need for rig investment to revitalize declining production.

In a candid revelation at the recent National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) conference, Austin Avuru, the executive chairman of AA Holdings and a stalwart in the Nigerian oil industry, emphasized the need for 45 new rigs to rescue the nation’s oil sector. He projected a return to “normal” production levels of 2.1 million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2025. This assertion sheds light on the formidable challenges Nigeria confronts in rejuvenating its oil industry, which is a pivotal driver of its economy. Avuru’s call to action underscores the urgency required to counteract the natural decline in production and augment output by an ambitious 800,000 barrels per day within a two-year timeframe.

This substantial undertaking necessitates the drilling of 426 wells, comprising 106 exploration and appraisal wells, alongside 320 development wells. The Africa Oil & Gas Report, a reputable energy intelligence publication, relayed Avuru’s message, highlighting the financial magnitude of the endeavor. Avuru emphasized that achieving these goals demands the deployment of 45 rigs, translating to a substantial investment of $7.6 billion alone in well costs. This financial commitment underscores the scale of the crisis and the imperative need for immediate and robust intervention.

Warning amidst production decline and economic strain.

Avuru’s revelations come at a critical juncture for Nigeria, a nation where the oil sector remains the linchpin of the economy. The recent downtrend in production has rippling consequences, exerting pressure on government revenues and denting foreign exchange reserves. A multitude of factors has contributed to this predicament, including large-scale theft and vandalism, coupled with decades of chronic under-investment in critical infrastructure. Last April, the nation’s daily oil production plummeted to less than one million barrels, a stark deviation from its 1.8 million bpd quota assigned by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

While there has been a marginal improvement in oil production, reaching 1.37 million barrels per day in November, as reported by an OPEC survey relying on secondary data sources, the figures still falls short of the 2024 budget benchmark of 1.78 million bpd. This discrepancy underscores the persistent challenges faced by Nigeria in meeting its production targets and signals the pressing need for decisive action. The decline in oil production has profound implications for Nigeria’s economic stability. Government revenues, intricately tied to oil exports, have experienced a notable squeeze, adversely impacting national finances. Additionally, the strain on foreign exchange reserves exacerbates the country’s economic vulnerabilities, highlighting the urgency of implementing comprehensive reforms in the oil and gas sector. A critical aspect contributing to the decline is the prevalence of theft and vandalism of oil infrastructure.

Security, investment, and policy reforms needed to tackle the crisis.

These illicit activities, often carried out by well-organized criminal networks, not only disrupt production but also result in significant revenue losses for the government. Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach, combining enhanced security measures with stringent law enforcement and community engagement initiatives. Furthermore, Nigeria grapples with the enduring consequences of decades-long under-investment in crucial oil infrastructure. Insufficient funding for exploration, appraisal, and development wells has led to an alarming decline in the sector’s capacity. Avuru’s call for 45 new rigs is a testament to the colossal backlog that needs to be addressed urgently to ensure sustained and robust oil production.

To confront these challenges head-on, a comprehensive strategy is imperative. Increased investment in technology and security measures to deter theft and vandalism is crucial. Simultaneously, there must be a concerted effort to attract both domestic and foreign investments to fund the development of new wells and rigs. The government also plays a pivotal role in this revival process. Implementing policy reforms, streamlining bureaucratic processes, and creating an investor-friendly environment are essential steps to foster increased participation and commitment from stakeholders.

Related Article: Rising oil production may boost FG revenue

A collaborative approach involving government agencies, industry players, and local communities is crucial to address the multifaceted issues afflicting Nigeria’s oil sector. The revelations made by Austin Avuru underscore the critical crossroads at which Nigeria’s oil industry finds itself. Urgent and decisive action is imperative to counteract the decline in production, revitalize the sector, and ensure the stability of the nation’s economy. The challenges are formidable, but with a concerted effort from all stakeholders, Nigeria can navigate this crisis and emerge with a more resilient and sustainable oil and gas sector.

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1 month ago

45 rigs needed to normalize crude output.There is urgent need for rig investment to revitalize declining production. – Express your point of view.

1 month ago

Austin Avuru’s plea for 45 new rigs is a wake-up call to rescue Nigeria’s oil sector, crucial for our economy. The $7.6 billion investment is needed to counteract declining production, oil theft, and vandalism. Urgent reforms, increased security, and strategic investments are vital for success. We must unite, involving government, industry, and communities, to overcome these challenges and ensure a resilient oil and gas sector for Nigeria’s future.

Adeoye Adegoke
1 month ago

The urgent need for rig investment to revitalize declining crude oil production cannot be overstated. With 45 rigs needed to normalize output, it’s clear that strategic investments are crucial to ensure a steady and sustainable supply of crude oil. Revitalizing production not only benefits the economy but also supports job creation and boosts overall development. It’s essential for the government and industry stakeholders to prioritize these investments and work together to strengthen the oil sector. Let’s hope for positive outcomes and a thriving production in the near future! 🛢️💪

1 month ago

Harmonizing crude output requires 45 rigs. In order to revive diminishing output, rig investment is badly needed. It will need more oil rigs to bring crude output back to normal. So that we may begin to explore additional petroleum, we must periodically invest in these rigs.

1 month ago

It is critical for the economy that Nigeria’s oil sector be revived, which is why Avuru is calling for 45 rigs. Vandalism, oil theft, and dwindling output all require the $7.6 billion investment. Prioritize these investments, implement quick reforms, increase security, and cooperate to make the oil sector stronger.