By Emmanuel Addeh
Some reports had quoted the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, as saying that the exact amount of crude oil produced in Nigeria had remained unknown because of the absence of meters at wellheads and the lack of capacity to monitor deep offshore fields.
The NEITI boss was further quoted to have stated that his agency had in all its oil and gas audit reports recommended that meters be placed on oil wellheads to measure the volume of crude oil produced across the country, without success.
“We do not have capacity to go deep shores to know how much we are producing. As we speak, it is very difficult for any Nigerian to ascertain how much we are actually producing.
“This is one of the challenges that NEITI is dealing with. Because if you do not know how much you are producing how would you know how much you are expected to earn?” Orji was quoted to have said in a forum in Abuja.
However, in a statement in Abuja, signed by the DPR’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr Paul Osu, the regulatory agency for the oil and gas industry noted that there was no truth in the imputation.
The agency wondered how the country would know the actual royalties and other revenues collected from operators without knowing the volume of crude oil produced on a daily basis.
“Our attention has been drawn to a report credited to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) that the exact volume of Nigeria’s crude production is not known.
“We wish to state that this assertion is false in its entirety and should be disregarded, as every litre of crude produced in Nigeria is adequately captured during the process of extraction.
“The monitoring of crude oil production and accounting is the primary responsibility of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the basis for determination of the government’s take through royalty payments by operators for sustainable development.
“As a further step to boosting crude accounting process from production to export, DPR recently launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS), an online platform for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria,” the regulator stressed.
It described the NPMS as an electronic data transmission tool deployed at production and export terminals and is designed to better predict the performance of oil and gas reservoirs and better production forecasting.
The NPMS, the DPR stated, is a tool which enables the agency to exercise surveillance, perform production monitoring and data analysis for utilisation and forecasting.
The DPR stated that as a business enabler and opportunity house, it will continue to develop robust and strategic initiatives to ensure timely and accurate payment of rents, royalties and other revenues due to the government.
It noted that it was impossible for the country not to know its total production, whether onshore or in the deep offshore, stressing that the statement was wrong in its entirety.
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