The need to raise funds and grow the contributions of indigenous operators in the country’s oil and gas industry motivated the Federal Government to reclaim dormant oil fields from multinational oil companies operating in the country. According to Dr Ibe Kachukwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Ministry decided on that in order to help raise funds for the government. He revealed that the ministry set a revenue target of $2 billion.
Explaining why the Ministry of Petroleum Resources decided to renew oil and gas leases six months before their expiration, the Minister said that it would help the government in raising funds, adding that ministry targets about $2 billion from the process.
The minister, who expressed worry over the number of oil and gas fields that were sitting idle in the portfolios of international oil, said: “We will still continue to be worried about a lot of our fields that are lying fallow in the hands of multinationals.
“As we renew leases, we are going to be looking at how you can do it yourself or we come in to help you to release some of those fields so local players will get a sizeable hold into some of the fields that are not commercial for the majors.
“We have tonnes and tonnes of acreages that are just lying down; nothing can be done about them. They are tied up by legal challenges. We need to sort of open up the fields.”
Kachikwu, who revealed indigenous operators’ contribution to national oil production is currently around 11 per cent, said he would like to see it grow to about 30 percent in the next couple of years.