Nigeria’s crude oil production has fallen from 2 million barrels per day to as low as 1.27 million barrels per day.
This comes amid the shutdown of two major export grades.
According to direct communication with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the country produced 1.269 million barrels per day last month.
The 13 members OPEC cartel, in its new released monthly oil market report for the month of April, said Nigeria recorded the biggest decline of 157,000 barrels per day in March.
Few days after Italy’s Eni lifted force majeure on Brass River crude oil exports from Nigeria in February, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,. Ibe Kachikwu, said crude-oil production had risen to two million bpd.
However, early March, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) shut down the Bonga field to enable it commence turnaround maintenance on it, a development that has reduced oil production and exports.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the Forcados terminal alone, about 300,000 bpd to 330,000 bpd were shut in since February 2016 following the force majeure declared by the SPDC.
In October last year, Shell resumed export of crude oil from the Forcados terminal following repairs, but the production wells were shut-in again due to the shutdown of the Trans Forcados Pipeline on November 9, 2016 as a result of sabotage on the 48-inch crude export line.
While Nigeria had consistently been Africa’s largest oil exporter, its loadings have fallen below those of Angola several times over the past year as it dealt with militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
The NNPC said in its latest monthly report that the Federal Government’s engagement with the Niger Delta militants had continued to enhance production.
According to the corporation, areas much affected by the militant activities are the onshore and shallow water assets, where government’s share is high. Hence, sustained security of onshore and shallow water locations remains a priority to restore production to peak levels.
Kachikwu, who disclosed the increase in oil output to two million bpd in February to the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), also spoke on the Forcados Oil Terminal.