ABUJA — Nigeria plans to almost double oil production and triple its refining capacity within six years, reviving previous pledges that turned out to be too ambitious.
The OPEC [Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] member is looking to pump 4 million barrels a day by 2025 and increase refining capacity to 1,5 million barrels daily, Maikanti Baru, managing director of state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, said at a conference Thursday in the capital, Abuja.
“Nigeria needs to unlock new barrels as quickly as possible,” he said.
Africa’s biggest oil producer pumps 2,2 million barrels a day and previously set a 4-million target for 2010, before successively delaying it. The country, where output peaked near 2,5 million barrels a day in the middle of the last decade, has grappled with militant attacks, leakages and theft at its oil installations.
“Targets such as these are not new to NNPC,” said Cheta Nwanze, an analyst at Lagos-based SBM Intelligence. “Nigeria has not met a single production target for at least a decade now, in many cases because of security concerns.”
Nigeria also wants to be self-reliant in meeting its fuel demand and cut imports that put a strain on foreign reserves.