The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, on Wednesday February 10, said Nigeria witnessed an increase in crude oil production in the first month of 2016 while production decreased in the country’s closest African rival Angola.
Relying on data from secondary sources, OPEC said crude oil output rose to 1.8m barrels per day (b/d) in January from 1.7m b/d in December 2015.
OPEC’s crude oil production based on direct communication also showed that output increased from 1.6m b/d in December to 1.9m b/d in January.
But the country’s output levels still fall below the 2.2m b/d target set by the federal government in the 2016 budget, the OPEC data also showed.
In its Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for February 2016, the oil cartel said crude oil output also increased mostly from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran, but production showed a decrease from Angola, Venezuela and Algeria.
OPEC said the total crude oil production by its 13-member group in January averaged 32.33m b/d, an increase of 131,000 b/d over the previous month.
Production upsurge in Nigeria was assisted by an additional rig count, the report showed. Africa’s top oil producer recorded 28 rig count in January up from 27 in December 2015.
The rig count is essentially a reflection of the level of exploration, development and production activities occurring in the oil and gas sector.
The head of Energy Research at Ecobank, Dolapo Oni, said the coming on stream of two fields operated by Shell and Chevron must have contributed to the rise.
Oni said, “ Shell brought on Phase 3 of Bonga, and Mobil also completed Erha North. Shell’s Phase 3 was 55,000 barrels while Bonga was 50,000 barrels. Both of them must have contributed to the increase.”
OPEC said the non-oil private sector in Nigeria had a modest improvement in business conditions in January.