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Nigeria’s government has authorized a local oil company to operate a new floating crude oil export terminal off the coast of the Rivers state in the oil-rich but still troubled Niger Delta.
Belemaoil Producing Ltd has been allowed to moor a floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit and use it as a crude oil export terminal, according to a letter signed by the Director of Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mordecai Ladan, Nigerian media report.
The new terminal, which will be known as Belemaoil Terminal Kula, is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs and other opportunities for the unemployed youths in the area, according to Samuel Abel-Jumbo, External Relations Manager at Belemaoil.
Not all local communities in the Niger Delta have been happy with the major international oil companies operating in their region, and Nigeria’s oil industry has frequently suffered sabotages, oil theft, vandalism, and militant attacks on infrastructure.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and an OPEC member, is dusting off an ambitious plan to double its oil production by 2025, aiming to pump as much as 4 million bpd in six years’ time—a goal that analysts think may be too ambitious for the country to achieve.
Nigeria currently pumps around 2.2 million bpd in crude oil and condensate. In April, Nigeria’s crude oil production alone stood at 1.819 million bpd, up by 92,000 bpd from March, according to OPEC’s secondary sources.
Nigeria may have a hard time achieving its ambitious oil production goal because of security concerns and the continuous oil theft and resulting oil spills in the Niger Delta that have been affecting the operations of supermajors like Shell and Exxon.
At the end of last month, sabotages and oil leaks led to several operators declaring force majeure on key oil export grades, including Shell declaring force majeure on Bonny Light exports, which was lifted more than two weeks later.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.