Despite recording the biggest increase in output among its peers in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria has again lost its Africa’s top oil producer status to Angola after it regained it in November last year.
For nine months in 2016, Nigeria lagged behind its southern African counterpart in oil production on the back of the resurgence of militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for February 2017, which was released on Monday, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.604 million barrels per day in January, up from 1.37 million bpd in the previous month, based on direct communication.
Production from Angola stood at 1.615 million bpd in January, down from the 1.639 million bpd it closed at last year.
Nigeria’s output had increased to 1.782 million bpd in November from 1.39 million bpd, compared to Angola’s 1.688 million bpd, OPEC’s December report showed.
OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries, said the group’s total production in January averaged 32.14 million bpd, showing a decrease of 890,000 bpd over the previous month.
“Crude oil output decreased the most in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, while production in Nigeria, Libya and Iran increased,” the 13-member oil cartel said.
Nigeria had in March 2016 lost the top spot to Angola when the country’s production dropped to 1.677 million barrels per day, compared to Angola’s 1.782 million bpd.
According to the report, oil output in Africa is estimated to decline by 20,000 bpd in 2016, remaining unchanged from last month’s report to average 2.11 million bpd.
It said, “Most African countries saw an oil production decline or stagnant output year-on-year in 2016 except Congo, which had growth from its new Moho Marine Nord project. In 2017, oil production will continue to grow by 30,000 bpd in Congo as well as in South Africa, Ghana and Chad.
“Declines are seen coming from Sudan, South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea. For the region, growth is expected at 70,000 bpd, to average 2.18 million bpd.”