Nigeria’s daily oil production has exceeded the 2.3 million barrel per day benchmark for the 2019 budget.

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during a discussion with the national officials of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ)

He maintained that Monday’s crude oil output figure was a significant improvement from the average daily production of 2.1 million barrels recorded last year.

The NNPC boss also said the country was able to attract $3.6 billion and $3 billion as Foreign Direct Investment into the oil and gas industry in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

He added that some officials of the corporation were close to sealing up another $7 billion FDI into the sector in London.

He highlighted internal and external transparency in the sector as a key factor in achieving this feat.

Baru said: “Since we came in July 2016, we had been focused on increasing production of oil and gas and condensates. At some point, our national combined production was about a million barrels; I am happy that as at the end of 2018, we have moved on, averaging last year, about 2.1 million barrels.

“As I am speaking, this morning, I look at our production figures, combined oil and condensates we are pushing 2.32 million barrels a day. This stability and ability to push production has come as a consequence of several factors, both internally, externally and also with the help of the media.

“Our drive for transparency has also produced a lot of fruits. We have been able to attract FDI into the oil and gas industry and in 2017 alone, we attracted about $3.6 billion.

In 2018, we shot it up by $3 billion; at the moment, some of our officers are in London, where they are negotiating sums in the region of $7 billion as FDI for the oil and gas sector.”

Speaking on the cost of production, the NNPC helmsmen revealed that the company had been able to minimise the cost of production to $22 from $27 per barrel in the firm’s Joint Venture (JV) operations.

“Oil exports are the largest single source of Nigeria’s revenue and anything that makes these more appealing to buyers would help revenues grow, including reducing the cost of production”.

He, however, noted that the corporation was on the lookout for means to bringing the cost to $20 per barrel.

While shedding more light on the state of Nigerian refineries, he said, “At the Port Harcourt refineries, the contractors are on site; they are carrying out every checks and lots of non-destructive testing. We believe that by the end of October, we would have detailed review and we would approach our financiers, clearly on financing basis; raise the funds because they are quite willing to fund the operations.

“NNPC would do that and pay the loans as appropriate, being that government does not have sufficient funds to finance the refineries rehabilitation. That is why it is taking time,” he said.