The newly-sworn-in Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has disclosed that it is a necessity for the Federal Government to reduce the cost of production of its crude oil.

While playing host to the Country Chair/Managing Director, Total Exploration and Production, Nigeria, Mike Sangster, who led a delegation from his company, Sylva revealed that the losses in the oil and gas sector has made the country a laughing stock.

The minister, who unveiled some of his plans in the oil and gas sector, was quoted in a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources as saying, “We have to bring down our cost of production of crude oil, as we are presently a laughing stock in the way we do our business.”

Other issues raised: In a similar vein, the minister frowned on the unwarranted practice perpetuated by some international oil companies that sold the country’s assets.

“Those assets are amortised assets; you can’t sell what you don’t have,” the minister was quoted.

Oil revenue

More so, Sylva stated that he expected Nigeria to be producing nothing less than 4 million barrels of crude oil per day. He decried the situation where the country was still hovering between 2 million and 2.2 million.

“The quicker we produce our oil, the better for us. The industry must grow. We need to look at exploration. Our reserves are growing far less than expected,” he added.

Nairametrics had reported that Nigeria ranks significantly among the top 10 oil-producing countries with the highest crude oil production cost per barrel. This was according to Paul McGrath, the Chairman/Managing Director, ExxonMobil Affiliate Companies in Nigeria.

McGrath described Nigeria as the largest oil producer in Africa and with hydrocarbon prospects among the brightest in the world.

Nigeria’s oil price: The average production cost for a barrel of crude oil in Nigeria has declined from $78 per barrel as at August 2015, to $23 per barrel.