As part of the efforts at meeting the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company’s (NPDC) 250,000 barrels per day growth target by 2015, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) have resolved to collaborate to make the NPDC a world class exploration and production company.
Speaking after a tour of Shell Training Technology Centre at The Hague, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Austen Oniwon, expressed the readiness of the corporation and SPDC to grow the NPDC, the upstream flagship company of the NNPC, to an enviable height in the global hydrocarbon industry.
Oniwon said: “We believe that in less than fifty years from now, NPDC will become a world class exploration and production company by producing 250,000 barrels per day in 2015.”
In his remarks, the Director Upstream International of SPDC, Mr. Andy Brown, said that Shell was committed to the partnership with the NNPC and revealed that going forward the joint venture partners will explore ways to develop domestic gas for the Nigerian and global market.
Brown averred: “We have been partners in progress for the past fifty years in the oil and gas industry and we are delighted that the NNPC was able to visit our facility at The Hague.”.
In their separate contributions, the Group Executive Director Exploration and Production of the NNPC, Mr. Andy Yakubu, and the Managing Director of SPDC Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu, described the partnership of the two companies as a success story.
On his part, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Osten Olorunsola, said that as a watch dog of the industry, the DPR was glad to witness a partnership that would transform the landscape of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
It would be recalled that oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956 at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta after half a century of exploration.
The discovery was made by Shell-BP which was at that time the sole concessionaire. Nigeria joined the ranks of oil producers in 1958 when its first oil field came on stream producing 5,100 barrels per day. After 1960, exploration rights in onshore and offshore areas adjoining the Niger Delta were extended to other foreign companies.