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Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Falls to 3-Month Low Amid Persistent Oil Theft



Nigeria’s crude oil output slumped to a three-month low data from the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reveals.

The production data from both bodies shows Nigeria’s average daily crude oil production stands at 1.018 million bpd.  

July production second lowest in 2023 

This falls short of the 1.249 million bpd it produced in June and the 1.184 million bpd it produced in May.

Nigeria’s total, Nigeria produced 33.5 million barrels of crude oil per day in July which falls short of the 37.4 million barrels it produced in June and the 36.6 million barrels it produced in May.  

Nigeria’s crude oil production for July represents the second lowest it has produced since the beginning of 2023 with the 29.9-million-barrel production of April being the lowest.  

The drop oil output in July signifies Nigeria’s inability to generate a substantial 661,000 barrels per day within the scrutinized timeframe.

This underperformance is a direct result of the fact that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had assigned Nigeria a production quota of 1.742 million barrels per day for this specific period. 

Production halt at Forcados terminal 

As the industry was contending with crude oil theft, the suspension of production by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil terminal in mid-July, due to a leak at the export terminal, dashed the hope of the country’s expected gradual production recovery. 

Shell had temporarily stopped loading at the Forcados crude oil facility due to the suspected leak at the export terminal.

Nigeria has been unable to meet its OPEC target since the second half of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic-induced cuts were announced. 

The drop in production at the Forcados terminal contributed significantly to the drop in the country’s crude oil output.

In June, production at the Forcados terminal stood at 7.08 million barrels, this dropped to just over 2 million barrels in July.  

Crude oil theft in the Niger Delta 

Beyond the closure of production at the Forcados terminal, continuous spate of crude oil theft has contributed to Nigeria not meeting its OPEC production quota of 1.7 million bpd.

ThepressNG reported a statement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) where the company complained of witnessing over 240 incidents of crude oil theft in one week.  

Nigeria has been battling crude oil theft in the Niger Delta for decades. In July, local security company Tanita apprehended a vessel laden with crude oil on the shores of the country.