The Department of Petroleum Resources said on Tuesday that Nigeria oil reserves had dropped from 40bn to 35bn barrels.
A Director in the department, Mr George Osahon, made this known in an interview with newsmen at the ongoing Oil and Gas Seminar in Abuja.
Osahon attributed the development to reduction in oil production in the country.
He said that some oil wells in the Niger Delta had stopped production because they had attained “maturity”.
He also said vandalism and other unwholesome acts in the oil distribution process in the region accounted for the drop in production of crude oil.
Osahon said that the situation called for worry, adding that there was urgent need to boost oil exploration in order to shore up the dwindling reserves.
“Oil reserves are dropping and our output is dropping too. What we are supposed to do to correct this is to continue to explore and explore and explore for more oil.
“We started with ’2D seismic’; now we are at the ’3D seismic’. Already, 1,300 exploration wells have been drilled so far.
“We need to do more in this regard so as to have more reserves. We have reached the plateau of production in the Niger Delta and we are already going down,” he said.
The director said a lot of money had been spent in the effort to increase reserves from the old fields.
On exploration at the Chad basin, he said oil had not been found there.
He said, “We have not found anything at the Chad basin as at today does not mean that oil is not in the basin.
“We are optimistic about this. We have come up with strategies to boost our reserves and in due course, we would make this known.”
He said other things to do to shore up the nation’s reserves were seismic data coverage and drilling of exploration wells, enhanced recovery methods, utilisation of non-saddled reservoirs and bitumen exploration.