Egina and Other Producing Assets to Help Cushion 2019 Budget Financing
Nigeria may not find it difficult to finance the N8.7trillion 2019 budget as stated by analysts and industry stakeholders. The rise in crude oil output by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Egina field alone and other oil recoveries, according to former Managing Director, Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) Mr. Godswill Ihetu, will come handy.
The 200,000 barrels per day production from the Egina facility, Ihetu said, is a good omen to Nigeria, especially as the oil price has begun to rise after falling to $51 per barrel at the close of last year.
In an interview with The Nation, he said the development meant more money for Nigeria. “Funding the budget has been a source of concern in view of the downward trend in the price of crude oil. However, the anxieties of the Federal Government have been removed following the increase in oil production from about 1.9 million bpd to 2.1 million bpd. Besides, there will be incremental oil production from existing oil fields following the peace in the Niger Delta. This means more money for the country.
“The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said some oil blocks were not only renewed but would help in providing $2 billion for the country,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria needs to sustain the projects – Egina and other producing assets, adding that they will help in buoying the government’s purse for a longer period of time.
“Why is Nigeria afraid of not being able to finance its fiscal projects now that the country’s loss has been compensated by the coming on stream of the new deepwater field?” he asked.
On Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC’s) cut, Ihetu said it would be wrong for Nigeria to limit production since OPEC has not issued any directive in that regard.
He said the fall in crude oil price was affecting every oil-producing nation, adding that Nigeria is making up for the loss in price by getting more oil from critical assets such as Egina and the fields, whose licenses are being renewed.
He urged the Federal Government, to provide the infrastructure required to boost gas production, stressing that increased gas production is crucial for economic development.
Source: The Nation