Nigeria loses Africa’s crude production top spot to Angola for 4th time

Oredola Adeola

Nigeria has been demoted from the top crude oil producer in Africa after it was displaced by Angola for the fourth consecutive month, the highest in more than five years.

Angola’s average daily output in August was 1.17 million barrels more than Nigeria’s at 1.13 million barrels, this was based on EnergyDay’s survey of monthly OPEC output for that month.

This is also happening after the country’s crude oil production for August dropped to an average of 972,324 barrels per day for the month, based on the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission’s (NUPRC) latest crude oil and condensate production data for August 2022.

According to the NUPRC report, the August figure dropped more than 10 percent, compared with the July 2022 production figure of 1.08 million barrels per day.

The August figure declined by 853,676  mb/d barrels lower than the  1.826 mb/d production quota set by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

NUPRC had earlier revealed 972,000 barrels a day for July 2022, that figure rose to 1.18 million barrels when condensate – a light hydrocarbon that is exempt from OPEC quotas – was included.

Nigeria has been struggling with its demotion in the first place primarily due to massive crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in all the oil installations across the country.

The country is likely to settle for the third spot, even as Libya produced  860,000 BPD and with the aim of raising its production to 1.2 million BPD in September after the government promised to address some of its infrastructural and regulatory issues.

According to OPEC’s secondary source, Libya produced 1.08 million barrels of crude a day in August.  Nigeria had in July lost about 74,000 barrels per day to 1.08 million BPD in July from 1.26 million in June, based on direct communication.

On its part, Angola’s oil production rose to 1.18 million BPD in July, up from 1.17 million BPD in June.

In May and June, Angola produced more crude oil than Nigeria, despite an increase in the country’s output.

OPEC’s monthly report for July showed that Nigeria’s oil production declined by 74,000 barrels per day (BPD)

Angola’s average daily output in August of 1.17 million barrels was more than Nigeria’s at 1.13 million barrels, this is based on EnergyDay’s survey of monthly OPEC output.

The last time that happened was in April 2017 when both nations were pumping about 500,000 barrels a day more, the same data show.

Nigeria’s production has reached multi-decade lows in 2022,  having suffered a persistent decline since 2020.

Nigeria recorded the second greatest decline in production among its OPEC peers in July, even though Angola’s also reduced, it still beat Nigeria in terms of barrels drilled.

Bala Wunti, the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPMS,,  in a recent tour of the facilities of the NNPCL,  said that the pipelines particularly those around Bonny terminal cannot be operated due to the activities of criminals.

He said the number of barrels stolen is very huge on a daily basis explaining about 270 barrels that were supposed to be loaded in Bonny are no longer going to be loaded because of theft.

According to him, “if you’re producing 30,000 barrels a day, every month, you get 1,940 barrels. So what it means is that you can take it to 270 every four days, calculate it in a month; you will have seven cargos on a million barrels, that’s seven million barrels.

“When you multiply seven million barrels by $100 that is $700 million lost per month, adding that about 150,000 barrels expected are differed, we are not producing due to security challenges.

Wunti said, “the Shell Petroleum Company (SPDC) trunk line, TNP transnational pipeline cannot be operated and this has been like this since March the 3rd that we put in this. Just take your calculator, 150,000, it means if you want to arrive at 1 million barrels per day, it means every week as a minimum, basically for one week alone, it’s four cargo and four cargo is four million barrels.

Four million barrels formula bar or $100 is $400 million.“So you can do your calculations by yourself, take whatever price you want, take this to multiply by the number of days that have been shortened since March 3rd.”

The GGM said Forcados is not completely secure due to some challenges, but assured that they were addressing it, and in two weeks it may be fixed.

“But we also have Brass about 100,000 barrels, which is operated by Agip and is also facing insecurity and vandalism.

“Illegal siphoning of crude oil from oil facilities by criminal individuals and groups, impacted negatively on revenue to all stakeholders, lamenting that the quantity of oil delivered into these federal oil terminals in the country has been limited by the activities of pipe vandals and organized crooks,” he lamented.

He said the impact of vandal activities caused low crude oil production, interrupted gas supply, countrywide interruption of distribution of petroleum products, refineries’ downtimes, increasing instability in the oil and gas market, “but I will tell you the major thing that affects us.

“Nigeria will suffer for it; the revenues are impacted, so we can only appeal to them to rein in themselves, the oil theft situation is regrettable. It’s not going on across the whole of the Niger Delta, there are trunk lines that are more impacted on, I think the Bonny trunk line ranks highest.

“Our major challenge as a country is our capability to respond and that is as a result of several factors, the terrain as well as some incapacity that we have,” Bala noted.