The nation’s oil production, including condensate, declined by about 70,000 barrels per day to 2.09 million bpd in October, compared to the preceding month, new data from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources have shown.
The data obtained by our correspondent from the ministry on Friday showed that oil production in the country rose to a 2018 high of 2.16 million bpd in September from 2.145 million bpd in August.
The nation’s oil output stood at 1.968 million bpd in July, up from 1.896 million bpd in June and 1.826 million in May.
The country produced 2.069 million bpd in April, 2.022 million bpd in March, 2.105 in February, and 2.070 million bpd in January, the ministry said.
The drop in October comes after a recent upsurge in sabotage attacks on production facilities by oil thieves reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The NNPC said on November 4 that sabotage attacks on its oil pipelines were on the increase, and could potentially hurt oil production and petroleum products supply.
Industry officials and analysts have also expressed concern over a possible upsurge in violence in the nation’s oil sector ahead of the general elections next February.
The government is hoping to see average oil output of 2.3 million bpd this year in order to fund its budget.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, told S&P Global Platts on Wednesday that the country’s oil output was just below two million bpd with crude accounting for around 1.6 million bpd and condensate comprising some 400,000 bpd.
Nigerian output has been steady at around 1.6 million to two million bpd over the past two years, although still below its full capacity of 2.2 million bpd.
In 2016, output slumped to around 30-year low of around 1.1 million bpd due to attacks on its key oil infrastructure in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
A new report by PwC, ‘Africa’s oil and gas review’, said Africa’s share of global oil production had slightly increased by 0.3 per cent since last year to 8.7 per cent, standing at 8.1 million bpd.
It said, “The main contributors continue to be Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and Egypt. Libya doubled production in 2017, promoting it to the fourth-largest oil producer in Africa with an 11 per cent share, moving Egypt into the fifth position.
“Among the top five, Nigeria and Libya were the only countries to increase production. The others declined, mostly in line with production cuts agreed to by OPEC members. South Sudan experienced another drop of 7.4 per cent in production in 2017, but recent mediations in peace-deal negotiations led to the resumption of the pumping of crude from suspended fields in September 2018, hopefully pointing towards a turning point for the country.”
According to the report, proven oil reserves in Africa have stayed at the same level of 7.5 per cent of global reserves.
“Exploration activity continued to decline in 2017. Africa was reported to have 487.8 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves at the end of 2017, unchanged at 7.1 per cent of global proven reserves. Two significant gas finds by Kosmos Energy in the Senegal-Mauritania basin in 2017 added an additional 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas to their portfolio,” it added.