The federal government has disclosed the inclusion of Borno State as one of the oil producing states in Nigeria. This is not unconnected with the revelation of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, of the intention of the federal government to commence oil production in the state.
The Minister for State had in a media interaction in Abuja declared: “I have said it a few times that we have found oil in the northeast and we have started drilling activities in the Lake Chad Basin.
“I don’t know how the discovery of oil in the area will impact all the issues there, but on our side, we believe that in a very short time, we will start production.”
The minister condemned piracy, oil bunkering and illegal refining in the oil-producing region, noting those activities had declined compared to past experiences. He admitted that piracy is still going on, but that the government is finding a solution to it.
According to Sylva, “Pipeline vandalism is less than it used to be. Before now, we had less than 50 per cent production, I can assure you that pipeline vandalisation is less than it used to be. If you compare what happens now with what obtains in the past, I think it is less now.
“There is still a lot of piracy I understand, but the law enforcement agencies are dealing with it. We are looking at other ways of dealing with it and believe that in a very short time, we will be able to get the full handle on it.”
Sylva stated that the gas conversion policy became necessary as the federal government searches for an alternative to petrol in Nigeria since the deregulation of oil products stimulates a sharp rise in prices. He observed that gas is a cleaner and more efficient fuel.
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