• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Oil production sinks below 1m bpd, down 30% since January

Old problems haunt 2024 oil bid round

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, in its oil production status report for August 2022, revealed that Nigeria’s production declined to 972,394 barrels per day (bpd), down 30.22 percent compared to January’s output.

This is a 10 percent decrease from the 1.08 million bpd recorded in July 2022.

Nigeria has been struggling to produce oil, analysts say, due to oil theft and vandalism, which result in production shut-ins.

The production shut-ins were caused by the declaration of force majeure, fire outbreaks, industrial strike actions, and an increase in oil theft, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company’s (NNPC) presentation to Federation Accounts Allocation Committee.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria, on Wednesday, said its members would withdraw services if there is no traceable progress in tackling oil theft. Oil producers in Nigeria had also asked the federal government to tackle the menace of illegal oil bunkers, especially in the Niger Delta.

In addition, they said oil thieves are raking in ‘petrodollars’ while the country is bedevilled by low production.

For three straight months, Angola produced more oil than Nigeria, verifying Angola’s position as Africa’s largest oil producer.

BusinessDay reported last month that NNPC wanted to implement a security infrastructure similar to that of Saudi Aramco to protect its oil pipelines and salvage a flagging economy despite an oil price bonanza.

“We have put up a control centre, it started in April 2022; it’s not yet on the level of the Saudi Aramco control centre that’s circulating in a viral video, but we are on our way there,” Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer of NNPC, said at a press briefing at the State House in Abuja.

Read also: As government watches, Nigeria overtaken by Angola as Africa’s top oil producer

The NNPC currently has some video visibility around the country’s Niger Delta pipeline networks, where more than 90 percent of the country’s crude is explored, according to Kyari.

Furthermore, the government awarded a contract to Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, to monitor pipelines.

However, Kyari said the state-oil company is engaging private contractors to help secure oil infrastructure in the communities.

“We’re not dealing with Tompolo; we’re dealing with corporate entities that were selected through the requisite tender process. Of course, Tompolo may have an interest within the entities,” Kyari added.