Recent government data has shown that oil spills brought on by theft and sabotage decreased by 73 percent between August and December 2022, a result observers say indicates the effectiveness of sector reforms.
Oil businesses in the nation reported 22 occurrences of spills in December 2022, the fewest since 83 cases were recorded in August, according to data from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.
This suggests, according to experts, that government reforms may be assisting in reducing waste and sabotage. This supports the strategy of improved cooperation between governmental organizations, oil businesses, and security personnel, according to Olufola Wusu, partner and head of oil and gas at Megathos Law Practice.
The attacks on pipelines and other crucial facilities that have impeded oil production, according to him, should be addressed with continuous efforts.
Wusu, who urged for additional reforms, stated: “Industry stakeholders still need clear assurance to drill new wells to shore up reserves, followed by regular and transparent allocation of oil and gas blocks to capable local and foreign investors.”
The decrease in oil spills also reflects the fact that the majority of Nigeria’s oil production is now taking place in offshore areas, where oil facilities are buried beneath the water and hence considerably more difficult to sabotage.
Also, these measures have increased oil production. The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission reports a 29% increase in oil output in Nigeria.
Additionally, since generating 1.26 million barrels per day (bpd) in January 2022, this is the highest level of oil production the nation has reached in the previous 12 months.
Oil and gas production engineer Etulan Adu claimed that efforts to prevent oil theft are the main cause of the increase in oil production.
He said; “Other means of evacuation of oil to terminals besides pipelines by indigenous companies to the terminals add up to the production increase,” he said.
He highlighted “the confidence and improvement in the security situation in the Niger Delta and seriousness of the hydrocarbon accounting by regulatory agencies in partnership with oil companies.”
Adu added that the government is taking deliberate measures to ensure that the right figures are reported and accounted for.
He said: “Bunkering activities have been minimised, and the major pipelines such as the Trans Niger Pipeline have been restored for the daily transport of crude oil to the terminals.
“Due to oil theft, the major trunk lines were vandalised during low production. We are seeing the benefits of the repair works and host community alignment with the current agenda to boost production output.”
Adu estimates that 1.5 million bpd might be reached over the next three months provided the government and security organizations maintain their current course and velocity.