BY CHISOM NWATU
Nigeria’s crude oil production lost 1.53 percent to an average of 1.219 million barrels per day (mbpd) in the month of April compared to 1.238 mbpd recorded in the previous month as shown by market report on crude oil production for the month of May 2022 compiled and released by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
OPEC, whose estimates for oil output of member countries is based on information from direct and secondary sources, also disclosed a 1.34 percent decline in Nigeria’s oil output to an average of 1.322mbpd in April 2022 as gleaned from secondary sources.
Other African oil exporters including Gabon, Congo, and Libya also recorded a decline in their daily average crude oil production, with the exception of Algeria and Angola,which both recorded an uptick in their crude oil production.
Experts say that given the fact that crude oil earnings form a major source of revenue for Nigeria’s federal government, and that it plays a great role in the stability of nation’s economy, it should be given adequate attention and that reliable solutions to the problems affecting the oil and gas sector should be urgently and robustly pursued.
Prior to the recent information, OPEC had increased its estimate for Nigeria’s oil production quota from the 1.735 million bpd target approved in May 2022 to a new target of 1.772 million bpd for June 2022, which is significantly higher than the levels at which Nigeria has been producing in recent times.
With Nigeria’s oil production quota falling below the target of 1.7 million bpd as estimated by OPEC, industry analysts have raised concerns that Africa’s largest oil producer is unable to generate or earn much revenue from oil exportation despite the rally in the crude oil market, which is still trading above the $100 per barrel threshold.
They attributed the rapid decline to the persistent oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, and oil theft of which the authorities are yet to find a lasting solution.