Nigeria’s crude oil output has increased by 31.1 million barrels in the space of four months due to improvements in security in the country’s oil-producing Niger Delta region.
This information was disclosed from the data released by the OPEC oil market report for February 2023.
The data showed that the average crude oil output from Nigeria in the third quarter of 2022 was 0.999 million barrels per day. This, however, increased to an average of 1.258 mbpd in January 2023, indicating an estimated daily rise of 259,000 barrels, and 7.77 million barrels in a month. This, therefore, implies that the country pumped an additional 31.1 million barrels of crude within the four-month period of October, November, December, and January.
Further analysis of OPEC’s data indicated that while the average output in the third quarter of last year was 0.999 mbpd, the country produced an average of 1.186 mbpd in November 2022, 1.235 mbpd in December 2022, and 1.258 mbpd in January 2023.
The OPEC oil market report for February 2023 also revealed an increase in the cost of crude oil in January 2023 when compared to December 2022, with the OPEC Reference Basket crude rising 2.4% to average $81.62/barrel, ICE Brent front-month increasing by 3.2% to an average of $83.91/barrel, and NYMEX WTI rising by 2.1% to average $78.16/barrel. This increase was due to an improved demand outlook after China lifted most COVID-19-related mobility restrictions, and the country’s economy was expected to continue to open.
It stated that signs of firm demand in the crude spot market were boosted by the return of Chinese buyers and the expectation of further increasing crude demand after China’s Ministry of Commerce released a second batch of crude import quotas in 2023.
Industry operators told our correspondent that the progress being made in oil production should be sustained. They commended the Federal Government and its security agencies but pointed out that Nigeria had yet to meet the oil output quota approved by OPEC.
The President, Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said, “We’ve been following developments as regards oil production, and we must commend the government and security agencies for the work they are doing on this.”
While the progress being made in oil production has been commended by industry operators, Nigeria has yet to meet the oil output quota approved by OPEC. The President of the Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria has called for sustained progress and increased effort to meet the production quota in order to maximize revenue from the country’s crude oil output.