Ms Caroline Egejuru, Chair, Programs and Training, International Forum for Women in Energy, Oil and Gas, said Nigeria’s dethronement as Africa’s largest crude oil producer by Angola and even Libya is a cause for concern.
In an interview with the New Telegraph over the weekend, she said it was hurting the economy that Nigeria’s oil production fell to as much as 972,000 barrels a day in August 2022, according to data released by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC). and confirmed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in their September 2022 report. OPEC’s report confirmed that NUPRC figures showed Nigeria’s oil production fell to 972,394 bpd in August from 1,083,899 bpd in July, causing Angola and Libya to overtake Nigeria in production.
According to the report, Angola was Africa’s top crude oil producer with an average production of 1.187 mb/d in the month under review, while Libya’s crude oil production also averaged 1.123 mb/d in August.
OPEC said: “According to secondary sources, total OPEC-13 crude oil production averaged 29.65 mb/d in August, up 618k mom. “Crude oil production increased primarily in Libya and Saudi Arabia.
bia, while production in Nigeria fell.” Nigeria has consistently had low oil production compared to its OPEC quota. NUPRC said in its July 2022 Crude Oil and Condensate Production data that Nigeria’s crude oil production also fell in July to average 1.08 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.16 million in the previous month.
It also said Nigeria’s oil production, with the addition of condensate, fell 6.42 percent in July to 1.31 million barrels a day from 1.40 million in June. Condensate is a mixture of light liquid hydrocarbons, similar to a light (high API) crude oil, that is usually separated from a natural gas stream at the point of production (field separation) when the temperature and pressure of the gas are lowered to atmospheric conditions.
OPEC announced in its July 2022 Oil Market Report that Nigeria’s June crude oil production was 1.238 million bpd (bpd), down from the country’s OPEC allotment of 1.766 million bpd; Nigeria’s crude oil production quota was 1.753 million bpd in May; June, 1.772 million bpd; July, 1.799 million bpd and August, 1.826 million bpd. Production of 1.024 million barrels per day (through primary communications) in May was about 195,000 barrels down in production compared to April’s total of 1.219 million barrels per day, according to OPEC.
Egejuru, in response, called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to step up its determination to use oil theft control technology. She also called on the federal government and security agencies to close any loopholes fueling oil theft.
She said: “It is a true report and it is data from a verifiable source, which of course is not in the best interests of the country. So I hope that this report will help the government to do what is needed. The report is definitely negative for Nigeria’s oil and gas growth.
“It will have a negative impact. It shows us where we stand and that we’re going down the foam, which shouldn’t be. So it’s a welcome call on what should be done to bring Nigeria back to where it used to be.
“Low production has adversely affected the customs of national economic growth with soaring oil prices and the urgent need for Nigeria to shore up its revenues as the country runs a budget deficit and its debt mounts.
“You can see that inflation today is almost 25 percent. The government should look into this oil theft problem.”
She added: “All international oil companies (IOCs) are leaving the country for other African nations such as Uganda and Angola, to the detriment of Nigeria. Therefore, all failures should be checked by the authority and government.
“The IOCs are leaving the country because they realize only 10 percent of their production, while others resort to oil theft. It affects their productivity and profit margin.
“The government should prop up the nation’s productive capacity by addressing the inherent challenges they face. You should do what is necessary. You should check for oil theft. This is the main thrust of the revenue stream. You should look inward. Aren’t we going to start refining our products now?
“Why do we have to keep importing? There is pressure on naira for foreign exchange. The federal government still subsidizes premium motor spirit and we spend so much on subsidies. These are the problems and they have dates.
“The use of technology will obviously help to control oil theft. Remember that former Minister of State for Petroleum Ibe Kachukwu included the use of technology as part of his submissions. We are in the age of technology and artificial intelligence, we should use what is widely available to do what is necessary.
“Also, security agencies need to up their game and improve their performance and control oil theft. They are the ones running the pipelines and other facilities. They have their responsibilities, so they should improve their strategies.”