The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has hinted on moves by the Federal Government to reclaim dormant oil fields from multinational oil companies operating in the country.
The minister stated this while fielding questions from journalists at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja on Wednesday.
Kachikwu also explained why the Ministry of Petroleum Resources decided to renew oil and gas leases 6 months before their expiration.
According to the minister, the Ministry decided on that in other to help raise funds for the government, adding that the ministry’s target is $2 billion.
The minister, who expressed worry over the number of oil and gas fields that were sitting idle in the portfolios of international oil companies operating in the country, said: “We will still continue to be worried about a lot of our fields that are lying fallow in the hands of multinationals. As we renew leases, we are going to be looking at how you can do it yourself or we come in to help you to release some of those fields so local players will get a sizeable hold into some of the fields that are not commercial for the majors.
“We have tonnes and tonnes of acreages that are just lying down; nothing can be done about them. They are tied up by legal challenges. We need to sort of open up the fields.”
Kachikwu, who revealed indigenous operators’ contribution to national oil production is currently around 11 per cent, said he would like to see it grow to about 30 per cent in the next couple of years.