Despite the easing of both the COVID-19 restrictions and the output cuts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nigeria produced less crude oil and condensates in the first 10 months of 2021 than the corresponding period in 2020, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
Last year saw severe restrictions of movement in most countries of the world due to the pandemic, resulting in less demand for transportation and industrial fuels and the collapse of oil prices.
Though 2020 was a tumultuous year for the global oil and gas industry, Nigeria produced more crude oil last year than the corresponding period of 2021.
The report released by the new upstream commission showed that Nigeria has pumped less oil in the first 10 months of 2021.
A THISDAY analysis of the figures revealed that the country has in the first 10 months of this year (January to October), underperformed by 72.6 million barrels of crude oil and condensates when compared to 2020.
Nigeria’s total oil production has been on the decline for several months, with Libya overtaking the country in October as Africa’s number one oil producer, according to the most recent figures from OPEC, quoting primary sources.
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, recently disclosed that Nigeria would recover between October and mid-November, blaming the difficulty in restarting the oil facilities for the falling production figures.
A number of the country’s oil assets were shut down as a result of compulsory OPEC cuts due to covid-19 and the need to fully comply with the mandatory reduction in production.
However, experts have blamed years of under-investment, aging production facilities resulting in frequent shutdowns, sabotage, vandalism, community issues, and incessant force majeure by Joint Venture (JV) partners for the declining production.
The NURPC figures showed that while total crude oil and condensate of 65.9 million barrels were produced in January last year, it declined to 53 million barrels during the same period this year, a difference of a whopping 12.9 million barrels.
Furthermore, 62.4 million barrels of both crude oil and condensates were produced in February 2020; 65.8 million barrels in March; 62.9 million barrels in April; 55.3 million barrels in May; 51.4 million barrels in June; 52.7 million barrels in July; 52.8 million barrels in August; 50 million barrels in September and 52.3 million barrels of both condensates and crude oil in October.
In contrast, in February this year, 49.3 million barrels of both liquid types were pumped; 54.2 million barrels in March; 50.6 million barrels in April, 51.4 million barrels in May; 49.1 million barrels in June; 50.8 million barrels in July; 47.4 million barrels in August; 45.9 million barrels in September and 47.2 million barrels in October.
In total, while 571 million barrels of crude oil and condensates were produced between January and October 2020, in the first 10 months of 2021, it fell markedly to 498.9 million barrels.
The data showed that Nigeria’s crude oil production declined from 55.1 million barrels in January 2020 to 42.1 million barrels in 2021 and from 52.1 million barrels in February 2020 to 39.8 million barrels in February 2021.
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja