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Nigeria now, Africa’s top oil producer status as militancy eases

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Barely Nine months after it lost Africa’s top oil producer status to Angola, Nigeria has seen its crude oil production surpass that of the southern African country, data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have shown.

It would be recalled that Nigeria had in March 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.

The country has seen a rise in militant attacks on its oil facilities in the oil-producing region, Niger Delta, in recent times, denting oil production.

OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for December, which was released on Wednesday, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.782 million bpd in November based on direct communication, up from 1.39 million bpd in October.

The country’s rival, Angola, said it produced 1.688 million bpd in November, up from 1.507 million bpd the previous month, when it lost 142,000 bpd of its output.

Nigeria recorded the biggest increase in output in the month among its peers in OPEC, followed by Angola.

Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest producer, saw its output rise by 95,000 bpd in November to 10.72 million bpd, according to the data.

OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its 14-member countries, said the group’s total production in November averaged 33.87 million bpd, showing an increase of 150,800 bpd over the previous month.

It said, “Crude oil output increased the most in Angola, Nigeria and Libya, while production in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia showed the largest decline.”

The group has recently agreed to a new production target of 32.5 million bpd as per January 1, 2017, representing a reduction of around 1.2 million bpd from October production levels.

It would be recalled that Nigeria and Libya were exempted from any obligation to cut output as both countries have continued to suffer production losses from militant attacks and political instability.

Already, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the country hopes to boost its crude oil production to 2.1 million bpd next month.


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