30 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate production was down by about 70,000 barrels per day, b/d, in October, statistics from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources have shown.
Production stood at 2.09 million barrels per day, down by that figure due to constant attacks on pipelines by oil thieves, the Ministry said in a recent statement on its website.
In September, the country’s crude oil and condensate production was 2.158 million barrels per day, mb/d, while output was 1.968 mb/d in July, up from 1.896mb/d in June and 1.826mb/d in May.
Nigeria produced 2.069mb/d in April, 2.022mb/d in March, 2.105mb/d in February, and 2.070mb/d in January, the ministry said.
The government targets an average 2.3mb/d oil production and $51 per barrel oil price in this year’s budget.
Obviously supporting the ministry’s reference to attacks on pipelines by oil thieves as being responsible for the October drop in output, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, reported a rising incidence of pipeline breaks since July.
The NNPC’s latest monthly financial and operations report for July 2018 had disclosed that during the period under review, the nation witnessed 204 pipeline breaks, of which 16 pipeline points either failed to be welded or rupture-clamped.
It indicated that 188 pipeline points were vandalised as against 165 recorded in the previous month, with Ibadan-Mosimi pipeline accounting for 124 points or 66 percent of the vandalised pipeline, while Aba-Enugu, Port Harcourt-Aba and other locations accounted for the rest.
A total of 1,858 vandalised points were recorded between July 2017 and July 2018, the report indicated.
The NNPC had warned earlier this month that sabotage attacks on oil pipelines were on the rise, while analysts have also warned that violence may return in Nigeria’s oil industry ahead of the general elections in February.
However, amidst the grim, with the production start-up of the Total-operated Egina oil field in December, Minister for State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said in an interview with S&P Global Platts last week that Nigeria’s crude and condensate production is expected to rise to 2.2mb/d by early next year.