Nigeria's crude oil will dry up in 49 years, DPR says

Nigeria has a future without oil to look forward to.

Nigeria loses $41.9bn to crude oil theft in 10 years – NEITI. [aljazirahnews]

Crude oil accounts for about 90 percent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Nigeria has depended heavily on crude oil since it attained independence from the British colonialists in 1960, with billions of dollars in revenue accruing to Africa's most populous nation in that span.

However, the end appears nigh, according to the DPR.

The nation’s crude oil reserves of 37 billion barrels, two percent of which is being produced annually, will be depleted in 49 years, DPR states.

Punch reports that the reserves, which stood at 37.45 billion barrels in 2014, fell to 37.06 billion barrels in 2015 and 36.74 billion barrels in 2016.

It however rose to 36.97 billion barrels in 2017 and 37 billion barrels in 2018, according to DPR data.

“The nation’s depletion rate and life index are 2.04 per cent and 49.03 years respectively,” the regulator said.

The reserves depletion rate is a measure of 2018 total oil and condensate production divided by the reserves as of January 1, 2019.

The regulator added that, “This indicator gives a bird’s eye on an annual basis, what percentage proportion of the quoted reserves was produced.

“The life index, on the other hand, is a measure of the reserves as of January 1, 2019, divided by the total production in 2018. This parameter highlights how long (in years) quoted reserves volumes will be available for production.”

The DPR said to achieve the government’s aspiration of four million barrels per day production and reserves of 40 billion barrels, “there is a need for corresponding increase in reserves as production increases.

“The life index will fall from a sustainable long-term threshold to a less futuristic and sustainable medium to short-term range.”

Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said last week that "by 2040, oil and gas will account for only 50 percent of the energy of the world.”

Nigeria has been blighted by endemic corruption and widespread poverty since it commenced oil exploration in commercial quantity in the 1960s.

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