According to a new report by OPEC, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria has, amid supply disruptions in October, lost its status as Africa’s top oil producer to Libya.
Nigeria’s oil output fell to about 1.23 million barrels per day in October from about 1.25 million bpd in the previous month, the cartel’s latest report released on Wednesday revealed.
Libya, on the other hand, had overtaken Angola as the second-biggest producer on the continent in December last year, and saw its oil production rise to 1.24 million bpd in October from 1.16 million bpd in September.
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.
According to OPEC, “Crude oil output increased mainly in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the UAE, and Kuwait, while production in Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea declined.”
“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,” it added.
Capital Economics, a London-based economic research firm, said that the increase in OPEC’s oil output in October was below its target of 400,000bpd.
“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,” it said.