The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has proffered new ways to attract more funds for operators to launch themselves into a new phase of oil find, saying it believes that the country can achieve its target of raising reserves to 40 billion barrels in 2020.
Speaking during management session at the 36th Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), in Lagos, Wednesday, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said Nigeria has already set an achievable target of 40 billion barrels reserves and three million barrels a day production by 2020.
Baru, who was represented by Dr. Victor Adeniran, chief operating officer of NNPC Ventures, however, said the industry requires special fund for hydrocarbon exploration to fully achieve its potentials.
“Currently, as a physical incentive, all exploration cost within the industry is expensed, this is a laudable and pro industry incentive from the government.
“The implications is that funding or spent need to be incurred prior to taking benefits, hence the funding structure of exploration within the industry need to be strengthened.
“However, we need to go beyond and above that”, Leadership quoted Baru as saying, adding that the Corporation on its part is willing to work with partners and the industry in that regard.”
He also said that government should consider how to open up new terms of marginal fields development, dormant assets and new assets, as there were still condensing prospects for new oil and gas reserves in Nigeria particularly in the ultra deepwater and inland frontier basins.
If this is done on consistent basis, the nation’s reserve replacement ratio, newly- discovered reserves versus productions in the next ten years would be more than double, he said.
Baru also said funds can be raised from the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Local Content Fund, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Seismic exploration support fund for seismic survey in under explored areas of the country.
He further suggested that a revolving special fund can be created for the country’s hydrocarbon exploration on contributory funding basis, adding that the NNPC would be willing to support such structures and ready to create a workable framework.