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There is hope for indiginous company – Peter Nwosu

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Peter Nwosu is the chief executive officer, Peter NUPENG Oil and Gas Nig Ltd as well as the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Oil and Gas.

THE first discovery of commercial quantities of oil in Nigeria was in 1956 at Oloibiri, about ninety kilometers west of Port Harcourt in what is now Bayelsa State; other discoveries soon followed and exports began in 1958, although significant quantities only began to flow from 1965, with the completion of a terminal on Bonny Island, on the Atlantic coast, and pipelines to feed the terminal.

Following a drop in production due to the civil war of 1967 to 1970, output rose rapidly from 1970, and by 1974 oil revenues constituted over 80 percent of total federal revenues and over 90 percent of export earnings, figures which have remained similar since then. In 1980, when oil export revenues peaked at U.S.$24.9 billion, external indebtedness had reached U.S.$9 billion, oil accounted for 27 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), about 80 percent of government revenues and expenditures, and 96 percent of total export receipts.1 Today, the petroleum sector comprises more than 40 percent of GDP, continuing to provide more than 95 percent of exports.

According to the Nigerian constitution, all minerals, oil, and gas in Nigeria belong to the federal government.10 Nigeria did not have sufficient indigenous expertise at the time oil was discovered to develop the oil reserves itself, and in all likelihood still does not. In this context, the federal government negotiates the terms of oil production with international oil companies, and takes a proportion of the revenue generated. Since independence in 1960, and in concert with the resolutions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the government has steadily increased both its control over and the degree of competition within Nigerian oil production.

In Anambra, in the year 2006, foundation laying ceremony for the first Nigerian private refinery, Orient Petroleum Refinery (OPR) was made at Aguleri area. The Orient Petroleum Resource Ltd, (OPRL) owners of OPR, was licensed in June 2002, by the federal government to construct a private refinery with a capacity of 55,000 barrels per day (~7,500 t/d).

In 2012, following the efforts of Governor Peter Obi and other stakeholders of Orient Petroleum, Anambra State became an oil producing state. The indigenous company recorded breakthrough in its oil prospecting in the Anambra River basin.

On August 2, 2015, the management of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc said the company planned to increase its crude oil production to 3,000 barrels per day by September, 2015, as it stepped up production activities in two new oil wells in its Aguleri oil fields.

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