Despite intractable militancy and ongoing theft from pipelines which has hobbled its oil production, Nigeria’s government remains resolutely upbeat over its plans to turn things around in 2017, Platts reports.
Nigeria, which has been exempted from the OPEC deal to cut output from January, hopes to pull its economy out of recession on the back of the upswing in global crude prices and restore oil production to at least 2.2 million b/d. Negotiations with militants in the Niger Delta to end attacks on oil facilities are apparently progressing and a new funding scheme for upstream ventures with foreign partners was recently agreed.
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman told S&P Global Platts; “The peace deal with militants to ensure zero disruption is in progress, though slow, but I can assure you that with a show of faith, the peace deal will be consummated in no time.” But progress on peace talks with militants has already had numerous false starts with splinter groups popping up and widespread mistrust over the leadership and scope of mooted concessions to resolve the impasse.
A recovery in Nigeria’s oil production is also premised on Nigeria’s successful negotiations of years of debts owed to its partners on counterpart funding for oil ventures, and introduction of a new funding mechanism to drive investment in the upstream sector. Nigeria recently negotiated $1.7 billion off the $6.8 billion in unpaid bills over the last four years owed its partners including Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and Eni, to exit the cash call arrangement.