Nigeria Loses Highest Producer of Crude in Africa to Angola, Says OPEC

Nigeria was formerly the biggest economy in Africa. The West African country currently in the longest recession in its history is also now formerly the highest producer of crude.

On the 13th of February, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released its Monthly Oil Market Report for the January 2017. The report showed that Nigeria has now lost its position as the highest producer of crude in Africa to Angola.

According to information Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation website, the country has an estimated capacity to produce 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day (bpd). However, the OPEC report, which attributed its findings to secondary sources, showed Nigeria only managed 1.57 million bpd for January 2017.

In the same period, Angola produced 1.6 million bpd.

It is important to note the report also stated that ‘‘Crude oil output decreased the most in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the UAE, while production in Nigeria, Libya, and I.R. Iran increased’’.

Nigeria’s January figure, according to the OPEC report which cited secondary sources, is an increase of about 7 percent from the 1.47 million bpd produced in December 2016. But the OPEC report showed that throughout 2016 Angola has consistently produced more than Nigeria.

Militants in the Niger Delta oil region have been majorly responsible for the drop in Nigeria’s crude oil production.

The government has made several moves to reinitiate the amnesty programme, which helped bring stability in oil production during the government former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Last year in November, President Muhammed Buhari held a peace meeting with people of the Niger-Delta, who gave him 16 conditions for peace to return to the region.

And on 14th of February, Vice President Yemi Osibajo, in acting capacity as president, reaffirmed the government’s position on amnesty when he visited the region.

Osibajo said, in this report by Reuters, ‘‘we have make more provisions for amnesty and provisions for social intervention’’.

The government will be hoping that these moves will persuade militants to drop their arms for oil production to return to normal levels.