• Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: September 18, 2023

Nigeria's Crude Oil Production Plummets, Urgent Steps Needed For Recovery

Nigeria's Crude Oil Production Plummets, Urgent Steps Needed

The trajectory of Nigeria's crude oil production over a 23-year period is starkly depicted in recent Statista statistics.

During its height, Nigeria's crude oil production peaked at 2.5 million barrels per day (mbpd), but as of August 2023, this number is only 1.1 mbpd.

When we look at the figures historically, the situation becomes more clear. Nigeria produced an average of 2.15 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2000, and 2.26 million barrels per day in 2001.

There were variations in the years that followed: 2.08 mbpd in 2002, 2.23 mbpd in 2003, and a peak of 2.52 mbpd in 2005.

But it didn't last long—the zenith. A steady fall began in output from 2006 to 2016, with a low point of 1.89 mbpd.

The trend abruptly turned lower despite small recovery in 2017 and 2018 (1.96 mbpd and 2 mbpd, respectively).

Nigeria's crude oil production fell to 1.45 mbpd in 2022; even worse, during the peak of crude oil theft activities in August 2022, the nation produced 972,000 bpd.

Looking ahead to 2023, data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) shows that oil output, excluding condensates, will vary from 1 mbpd in April 2023 to a peak of 1.26 mbpd in March 2023.

This persistent pattern highlights the urgent need to address the causes of this decrease and to plan for a more strong and sustainable oil production environment in Nigeria in the future.

Brazil's ANP oil agency reported last week that the nation produced 4.482 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, the most ever measured.

The information provided highlights the critical need for Nigeria to increase its crude oil production.

This urge is motivated by a number of things:

Inputs from sources knowledgeable with the dynamics of Nigeria's declining crude oil production on Monday revealed that the requirement to achieve the challenging 1.69 million barrels per day oil production threshold set forth in the 2023 budget is crucial.

This goal is not only for ensuring enough inventory for the current modular refineries but also for increasing the nation's revenue to help the government deal with the many issues it faces.

Their analysis revealed a serious deficiency in proactive measures taken by Nigeria's oil industry management to increase oil production.

Additionally, they highlighted historical complacency among the government and important players who were happy with historical production rates but failed to set the framework for investments and infrastructure required to boost production and stop industrial theft.

The lack of basic measures has now brought the nation to a critical crossroads, necessitating urgent, strategic actions to revive the oil sector. 

“I remember around the year 2000, Nigeria was producing more crude than Brazil at the time, but the GMD of NNPC at the time, was advocating that NNPC should become like Petrobras and start investing in oil and gas technology.

“Fast forward to 23 years later and Brazil is now producing 4.4 million barrels per day and Nigeria is struggling with 1.3 million barrels per day or 3 million barrels less.”

According to the source, Nigeria must make all efforts possible to increase crude oil production. This move is crucial for increasing investments in the sector as well as for increasing the country's tax income.

At the same time, it offers a chance to increase investments across all economic sectors, freeing the nation from the oppressive bog of mounting debt and a stagnant economy.

In this pivotal moment, where coordinated actions can pave the way for a financially strong and self-sufficient nation, lies the imperative.

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