Nigeria records highest rigs count since 2019, as crude oil output increases to 1.235mbpd for Dec. 2022

Oredola Adeola  

Nigeria’s oil rigs count rose to 12 in December, the highest since 2019, and up from 10 rigs recorded in November 2022, this is according to the latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for December 2022. 

Meanwhile, the improvement in oil rigs count was also reflected in Nigeria’s crude oil output as OPEC confirmed that the country’s production level increased to 1.235 million barrels per day in December, up by 4%, compared with 1.186mbpd recorded in November 2022.

The trajectory of growth in the country’s output level showed an increase in exploration activities in the Niger Delta, as the OPEC’s records established that the rigs count improved from seven (7) in September 2022, to eight (8) in October, ten (10) in November, and now twelve (12) in December 2022.

 EnergyDay’s check showed that the rigs count recorded for December 2022, was the highest since 2019, when the country’s oil rigs count was 16, dropped to 11 in 2020, and to seven in 2021, before declining to about eight (8) in 2022.

According to OPEC, Nigeria had eight (8) functional rigs in the first quarter of 2022, (Q1,2022), it increased to eleven (11) in Q2,2022, dropped to nine (9) in Q3,2022 and may eventually hit ten (10) in Q4,2022, according to the OPEC data. 

 The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has put the country’s crude oil and condensate production to 1.519 million bpd as of the end of December 2022. 

Mele Kyari, NNPCL’s Group Chief Executive Officer, while confirming the December output level, also confirmed the possibility of hitting the target of 1.8 million barrels per day in 2023. He also expressed confidence that the production will continue to rise to 2.2mbpd. 

The NNPC GCEO attributed the recovery to the return of exploration activities and transportation of petroleum key grades Forcados and Brass River.

 Platts survey by S&P Global Commodity Insights also confirmed the recovery of Nigerian crude output, which it puts at 1.33 million bpd as of December 2022.

OPEC in its MOMR, also revealed that Nigeria has for the second month, remained the top crude oil producer in Africa, closely trailed by Angola (1.088mbpd) and Algeria(1.099mbpd).

The report by the oil cartel showed Crude oil output increased mainly in Nigeria, Angola, Libya, and Venezuela, while production in Kuwait, Congo, and Algeria declined, even as total OPEC-13 crude oil production averaged 28.97 mb/d in December 2022, higher by 91 tb/d m-o-m. 

The share of OPEC crude oil in total global production remained unchanged at 28.5% in December, compared with the previous month.