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Nigeria drops to Africa’s fourth biggest oil producer

FG prioritises production bonus as investors bid for oil blocks

Angola, Libya and Algeria produced more crude oil than Nigeria in September as Africa’s largest economy saw its output dip below 1 million barrels for two months straight.

The latest monthly oil market report released by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Wednesday shows that Angola produced the most oil on the continent in September at 1.18 million barrels per day (bpd), followed by Libya with 1.152 million bpd, based on secondary sources.

Algeria produced 1.04 million bpd, while Nigeria pumped 1.09 million bpd in September, based on secondary sources.

OPEC uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries.

The report for September revealed that Angola produced more crude oil than Nigeria for the fifth straight month, based on direct communication.

Angola’s output stood at 1.09 million bpd, compared to the 938,000 bpd produced by Nigeria, based on direct communication.

Algeria produced 1.06 million bpd, based on direct communication, while Libya has not submitted its oil production data to OPEC, according to the report.

Nigeria had in May lost its status as Africa’s biggest crude oil producer to Angola. OPEC report for September showed that Libya overtook the country in August as second-biggest producer.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, in its oil production status report for September, revealed that Nigeria’s oil production fell further to 937,000 bpd from 972,394 in August this year.

Read also: NNPC’s cash-for-crude deals to raise $5.6bn

This decline in production, analysts say, is due to oil theft, vandalism, lack of investment and production shut-ins.

Last week, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) uncovered an illegal four-kilometre pipeline from Forcados in Delta State to the sea and a loading port that was part of an elaborate crude theft operation for nine years.

Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer, NNPC said that though oil theft in Nigeria has been going on for over 22 years, the rate it has assumed in recent times is unprecedented.

“Three operational facilities of Forcados, Bonny and Brass oil terminals have all been shut down due to the high rate of crude oil theft, leading to the loss of about 600, 000 bpd,” he said.

OPEC added that the decline in spot prices was more pronounced with the North Sea dated benchmark, which declined by nearly $10/b month-on-month in September.

According to secondary sources, total OPEC crude oil production averaged 29.77 million bpd in September, higher by 146,000 bpd month-on-month.

“In addition, crude oil output increased mainly in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Libya and the UAE, while production in Iraq, Venezuela and IR Iran declined,” it said.

“Preliminary data indicates that global liquids production in September increased by 0.93 million bpd to average 101.48 million bpd compared with the previous month.”

According to the report, non-OPEC liquids production (including OPEC natural gas liquids) is estimated to have increased in September by 0.8 million bpd month-on-month to average 71.7 million bpd and was higher by 2.9 million bpd year-on-year.

The report also indicated that preliminary estimated increases in production during September were mainly driven by Other Eurasia, OECD Europe and OECD Americas by 0.6 million bpd, offset by declines seen in Russia and other countries.

The share of OPEC crude oil in total global production decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 29.3 percent in September compared with the previous month.

“Estimates are based on preliminary data from direct communication for non-OPEC supply, OPEC NGLs and non-conventional oil, while estimates for OPEC crude production are based on secondary sources,” OPEC said.