Nigeria’s crude oil reserve has been depleting due to the failure of the country to encourage exploration and production which in-turn would have been boosting its reserves.
Andrew Obaje, former Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR), informed that Nigeria stopped producing from new oil wells, when the oil bloc bid-rounds was abruptly brought to a stop over 13 years ago.
He said, the country has rather been exploiting old wells which outputs had been determined without output-addition from new producing wells as would be expected.
Mr. Obaje, stated that the touted increase in output of the country’s oil and gas is nothing, but the outputting from wells which productions were one way or the other stalled by either the activities of militants or other forces.
He maintained that contrary to the widely held believe that the country is experiencing growth and foreign direct investment in the oil and gas industry, it is quickly retrogressing.
He stated that aside from the stoppage of the bidrounds which would have ushered-in competition and growth as well reserve addition, another cog in the wheels of the industry is the government lack of political will to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which had been broken into Four with the hope of a speedy passage.
According to him, vested interests from the government which does not want to lose its discretionary powers in allocating oil blocs as well as those of powerful individual at the corridors of power in the country had been hampering the passage of the PIB which would have to a larger extent opened up the industry to foreign direct investments.
He further stated that this unimpressive situation in the oil and gas industry of the nation would go a long way to affect the government’s drive to further diversify the economy, since the source through which it can do it is seemingly stalled by some the issues raised.