Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria, is dusting off an ambitious plan to double its oil productionby 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.

OPEC member Nigeria currently pumps around 2.2 million bpd in crude oil and condensate. In March, Nigeria’s crude oil production stood at 1.733 million bpd, up by 11,000 bpd from February, according to OPEC’s secondary sources.

Although the number of militant attacks on oil infrastructure in Africa’s biggest producer has been down over the past two years, oil theft from pipelines is still plaguing facilities and leading to leaks that often force operators to shut down export pipelines for days and weeks, resulting in reduced Nigerian oil exports—and reduced oil income for the government.

According to OPEC figures, the oil and gas sector accounts for about 10 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP), while petroleum export revenues make up nearly 83 percent of the country’s total export revenue.

The revived plan to double oil production in six years may sound great, but according to analysts, the goal is overly ambitious and Nigeria will have a hard time achieving it, also because of security concerns. Those security concerns and the continuous oil theft and resulting oil spills in the Niger Delta have been affecting the operations of oil supermajors like Shell and Exxon. The lingering concern about security is not helping the investment climate in the upstream sector in Nigeria.  

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