Barely a few days to the commencement of the 2024 fiscal year, hope appears rekindled in the revenue horizon as the price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light, rose to $81.11 per barrel, from $78 per barrel it closed last week, indicating an excess of $3.15 per barrel against the 2024 budget reference price of $77.96 per barrel.
The nation’s N26 trillion 2024 budget, benchmarked on $77.96 per barrel and 1.78 million barrels per day, bpd was threatened in the past two weeks when the oil price became unstable trending down to the budget benchmark price.
Price of Bonny Light rose to $81.11 per barrel on the Red Sea attacks that culminated in shipping disruptions, thus fuelling the speculation in favour of high prices.
However, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, indicated that oil output fell by 7.4 percent to 1.25 million barrels per day in the month of November 2023, compared to 1.35bpd in September 2023.
This means the pressure point has shifted to output level as this may undermine the realization of the targeted revenue if it persists into 2024.
But the newly appointed board and management team for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) has pledged to produce two million barrels of crude oil daily from 2024.
The Chairman of NNPCL, Pius Akinyelure, stated: “We have just concluded our inauguration ceremony by Mr President and we have assured him of our collective efforts to turn around the fortune of the Oil and Gas.
”And to make it a company that we will all be proud of and a company that will help sustain the economy and make sure we create some element of prosperity for Nigerians. He (President) has assured us of his support and on our own part too, we have given him our one 100 per cent assurance.
“We will do the best we can to make sure that the key performance in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria probably will become number one in Africa and probably compete with the leading oil and gas industry around the world.
“It is not an easy task but we know we had the challenge of oil stealing, vandalisation of our pipelines. Our commitment is to produce at the rate of two million barrels per day anytime from next year’’.
On his part, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said that oil production in the country would surpass the 2024 budget target of 1.7 million barrels per day.