The Department of Petroleum Resources has said that Nigeria’s crude oil reserves of 37 billion barrels will be depleted in 49 years.

According to the agency, oil reserves declined from 37.45 billion barrels in 2014 to 37.06 billion barrels in 2015 and down to 36.74 billion barrels in 2016.

The reserves inched higher in 2017 and 2018 when they hit 36.97 billion barrels and 37 billion barrels, respectively.

“The nation’s depletion rate and life index are 2.04 per cent and 49.03 years respectively,” DPR said.

The reserves depletion rate is a measure of 2018 total oil and condensate production divided by the reserves as of January 1, 2019, according to the DPR.

It said this indicator gives a bird’s eye on an annual basis, what percentage proportion of the quoted reserves was produced.

“The life index, on the other hand, is a measure of the reserves as of January 1, 2019, divided by the total production in 2018. This parameter highlights how long (in years) quoted reserves volumes will be available for production.”

The DPR said to achieve the government’s aspiration of four million barrels per day production and reserves of 40 billion barrels, “there is a need for corresponding increase in reserves as production increases.”

It noted that if that was not done, “the life index will fall from a sustainable long-term threshold to a less futuristic and sustainable medium to short-term range.”