THE CHALLENGES OF MARGINAL FIELDS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIAOffiong I. Akpanika and Francis D. Udoh
Nigeria is richly endowed with a vast amount of mineral resources. These mineral resources are exhaustible and include hydrocarbons which are currently the main stay of Nigeria's economy. The nation's current reserve base is projected to be depleted within the next 34 years at the present production level of about 2.4 million barrels of oil per day. With this in mind, the government's current policy is to have a proven reserve base of 40 billion barrels by the year 2010, and increase daily production capacity to 4 million barrels of oil per day. These policy objectives have predicated upon the necessity for the Nigerian government to intensify the search for new discoveries and increase exploration and production activities in already discovered or abandoned fields known as marginal fields. One of the methods which could be utilized to increase Nigeria's daily petroleum output and reserve base is the development of marginal fields. The development of marginal fields may result in the introduction of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil to existing reserves. This paper takes a critical look at the challenges of developing these marginal fields in Nigeria. Recommendation is proffered for effective and successful implementation of the program.
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