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FG says one billion barrels of crude oil discovered in N’East Nigeria

 The Federal Government has disclosed that Nigeria has
discovered one billion barrels of crude reserves in the North-east.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who made the disclosure, also said told newsmen that a lot of oil
was yet to be found in Nigeria if there were more exploration activities.

The minister made the disclosure
in Abuja during a press conference at the third edition of the Nigerian International
Petroleum Summit (NIPS), adding that though the country was not yet a mature
territory for oil, it was still very prolific.

He said: “From the evaluation
report we are getting, the reserves that have been discovered in the North-east
is about a billion barrels. And they are beginning to understand to geological
structure of that area.

“If there is a lot of
exploration, we believe that a lot of oil still remains to be found in Nigeria.
And that is the beauty about Nigeria. Nigeria is not yet a mature territory; it
is still very prolific.

“There has been no targeted
exploration for gas and yet we have 200 TCF reserves. So, we believe that if we
really go out looking for gas, we can find a lot more that will put us in the
league of the most prolific in the world.”

“Let us allow the investment to
come into Nigeria because there is still a lot of oil and gas to be found.
Unfortunately, the bad news is that the world’s 2020 outlook tells you that by
2040, oil and gas will account for only 50 per cent of the energy of the

Meanwhile, Sylva has stated that
negative remarks and stories about Nigeria by Nigerians was hindering the
access to foreign capital needed to drive the nation’s oil and gas industry.

He said: “Our people are now
participants in this industry, but one thing is lacking. Technically our people
have become very competent. They can run this industry. But this industry is a
combination of two things: technical competence and access to capital.

“We cannot now access capital,
although we have the technical competence. And what makes it difficult to
access capital? One of the things that make it difficult to access capital when
it comes to Nigeria are the things that we put out there about Nigeria.

“All the time we add to the
country’s risks; the perception about Nigeria, because we enjoy saying all the
evil things about Nigeria, and never dwell on those things that are great about

Sylva however pointed out that
there was need for the country to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB),
saying for so long Nigeria had been delaying in passing the bill.

According to Sylva, Nigeria’s oil
industry had been been stagnating due to unclear fiscal terms resulting in lack
of investment in the sector.

The minister further attributed
the country’s inability to grow the oil reserves to back of investment.

He added: “From 2007 to now, we
have only been able to grow our reserves from 37 billion barrels to 37.5
billion barrels, in more than 10 years. Why? Not much investment is coming into

“If you were an investor, and you
are coming to invest in Nigeria and you see that the fiscal framework is
shaking or uncertain – nobody knows what laws will be passed – nobody will want
to invest new capital in Nigeria. And that is why you see that we have almost
been stagnant in the Nigerian oil industry.”

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