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Nigeria targets 1.8m barrels per day of output by March

The country to become self-reliant in refining by end of 2019

Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi

Nigeria oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on Saturday his country is aiming to achieve oil production of 1.8 million barrels per day by March and could discuss if it could be part of Opec output cuts in June.

“Hopefully the price of oil will help us a bit to get some of the pressure off our back. If the infrastructure comes back, our potential to increase will be there. We have taken the Opec position of staying at 1.8 million barrels per day and not allow that sort of squeeze to loosen up. I would wait till June [to see how] the numbers are looking,” said Kachikwu speaking in Abu Dhabi.

The current production is still below 1.8 million barrels per day and condensates production is 300,000 barrels, he added.

Speaking on the refinery sector in Nigeria, he said the aim is to be self-reliant by the end of 2019. Currently a considerable amount of Nigeria’s refining is undertaken outside the country.

Asked on how secure is Nigerian oil infrastructure from the militant attacks, he said, “we are building relationships with the Nigerian delta communities. That has gone well so far and no incident in the last nine to ten months.”

However, he also added they need to get “a long term handle on this issue.”

When asked whether $70 oil prices is helpful to Nigeria, he said the resolve is to have a reasonable figure.

“Not $70, somewhere in the sixties. There is a collective resolve to do everything. The philosophy is not to protect the price but the business model.”