Nigeria’s Defense Minister, Bello Matawalle, shared optimistic projections, stating that the country’s crude oil production is set to reach 1.9 million barrels per day by December 2023. In an interview with NAN on Sunday, Matawalle emphasized the Federal Government’s commitment to combating crude oil theft as a key strategy to boost production.

Matawalle highlighted the positive impact of government initiatives, noting a decline in crude oil theft activities compared to previous levels in the Niger Delta region. He credited the combined efforts of the Federal Government and the military in curbing oil theft, leading to increased production.

“Before now, due to oil theft activities in the Niger Delta region, oil production dropped to about one million barrels per day. But production has increased with the Federal Government’s actions and the onslaught of the combined military against oil thieves,” Matawalle stated.

Expressing optimism for further progress, he added, “We are hoping that at the end of this year, we will reach about 1.9 million barrels per day. We are taking serious action; operations have been conducted in that area. Most of the illegal panels were destroyed, most of the people were arrested, and we are okay with the level we are today. We work together by sharing intelligence; we shall continue working together.”

Contrasting this, data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in October reported the country’s crude oil production at 1.5 million barrels per day. Additionally, data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) revealed a concerning trend in oil theft activities, with 227 cases recorded on October 28 and November 3.

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