Crude oil production drops as oil thieves wreak havoc

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By Ayobami Ayodeji

Crude oil and condensate production drops in output by some 70,000 barrel per day (bpd) compared to last month due to increased sabotage attacks on oil infrastructures by oil thieves.

Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate production stood at 2.09 million bpd in October, oil ministry data showed on last week.

Earlier this month, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) warned that sabotage attacks on oil pipelines was on the rise, while analysts also warned that violence may return to Nigeria’s oil industry ahead of the general elections in February 2019.

Nigeria’s Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu in statement said the nation’s crude and condensate production is expected to hit 2.2 million bpd by early next year.

According to him “Hopefully, that should lift us closer to 2.15 million-2.2 million by the start of next year barring any unforeseen shutdowns, adding that the country’s longer-term production goal is around 2.5 million bpd.

“I think you could see it creep up to 3 million b/d in the next eight to 10 years.”

Kachikwu expects “relative stability” in Nigeria’s oil sector ahead and during the elections in February next year.

Nigeria’s oil production started to recover in the latter half of 2017, when attacks on oil infrastructure subsided.

This year, after some hiccups and pipeline outages during the spring and early summer, Nigeria’s crude oil production has been steadily rising.

Crude oil production jumped by 74,000 bpd from its July level to average 1.722 million bpd in August. In September, Nigeria further boosted its crude oil production, by 26,000 bpd to 1.748 million bpd.

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