Nigeria Loses Spot As Africa’s Number One Oil Producer, Under President Buhari’s Watch, As Libya Takes Over With 1.24 Million Bpd, In October

Emerging report indicates that Nigeria is no longer the largest producer of Crude Oil in Africa, according to a latest report by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Page 36 learnt.

The report revealed that Nigeria lost its top Oil producer status in Africa to Libya, as its Crude Oil production fell further in October, amid the lingering supply disruptions.

Nigeria told OPEC that its Oil output fell to about 1.23 million barrels per day, bpd, in October, from about 1.25 million bpd in the previous month.

This is according to the Cartel’s latest report released on Wednesday.

Libya saw its Oil production rise to 1.24 million bpd, in October, from 1.16 million bpd, in September, based on direct communication, according to OPEC.

OPEC uses secondary sources to monitor its Oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries.

According to secondary sources, Nigeria’s production declined by 45,000 bpd to 1.35 million bpd, in October, from about 1.40 million bpd, in September.

Nigeria recorded the second biggest drop in output in October, among its peers in OPEC, after Iraq, based on direct communication. The country’s production fell the most in the month, according to secondary sources.

The 13-member Oil Cartel said that its total crude production averaged 27.45 million bpd, in October, higher by 220,000 bpd month-on-month, according to secondary sources.

It stated: “Crude Oil output increased mainly in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the UAE, and Kuwait, while production in Nigeria, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea, declined.”

OPEC said further that crude differentials of light and medium sweet crude rose in the Mediterranean and West African Markets, in October, on good buying interest from European buyers, strong refining margins, supply disruptions in Libya and Nigeria.

It added: “However, soft demand from Asian Refiners for Atlantic Basin crude amid unfavourable West-to-East arbitrage capped the rise. Crude differentials of Bonny Light, Forcados, and Qua Iboe, rose firmly on a monthly average in October, by 70¢, $1.06, and 75¢, respectively, to stand at premiums of 10¢/b, 27¢/b, and 4¢/b.”

A London-based economic research firm, Capital Economics, stated in a note that the increase in OPEC’s Oil output in October, was below its target of 400,000bpd.

It said: “Once again, Angola and Nigeria were largely responsible for this undershoot. Operational issues brought about by a lack of investment in Oil-producing facilities continue to plague output in both countries, while Nigeria is also grappling with recurring militant attacks on key pipelines.”

The Firm stated that with these issues unlikely to be resolved soon, OPEC would probably continue to undershoot its planned increases in output in the months ahead.

It said: “This will do little to alleviate the signs of undersupply in the oil market. For example, the price spreads between front-month futures and longer-dated futures are now as negative as any time in recent years, which normally indicates a lack of near-term supply.

“Despite persistently undershooting its target, we doubt OPEC will make any major changes to its output policy at its next meeting on December 2. Admittedly, external pressure on the group has continued to grow, with the US now reportedly considering a release of Oil stocks from its strategic reserve.”

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