Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report
About $16 billion has so far been injected into Nigeria’s oil and gas in investments by China.
This revelation was made when top delegates from China’s third-largest national oil company paid a visit to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Abuja, this month.
During the visit the Group Managing Director, GMD, of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, commended the China National Offshore Oil Corp., CNOOC, for its continued support of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, acknowledging that Chinese investments in the sector have reached $16 billion, adding that Nigeria needs partners like China.
The two countries need each other to reach their oil production targets, he said as Nigeria sustains the pumping of 2 million barrels a day and has a goal of producing 3 million barrels a day by 2023.
China’s domestic oil production has been on a steady decline because of natural depletion and other geological challenges and experts predict that up to 80 per cent of China’s crude oil supply will be imported by 2030.
The CNOOC started doing business in Nigeria in 2005 and is the largest Chinese entity investor in Nigeria. With a focus on overseas investment, it’s also China’s largest offshore oil and natural gas developer.
The company’s executive vice president, Lu Yan Ji, said during the meeting that Nigeria is one of the company’s largest investment destinations. He also said that CNOOC is producing 800,000 barrels per day, but it wants to reach 1.2 million and expressed the hope Nigeria can help with that.
Unfortunately, Nigeria has had a hard time reaching its production targets With sporadic militancy in the oil-producing region, as young people often take violent action to demand more access to the country’s oil wealth. There is also theft happening right at the pipelines as fires often burn at rusted pipes, and oil operations in Nigeria are disrupted several times a year.