Lagos — Nigeria’s crude oil production has plunged even lower, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC’s data for penultimate month to January.
The group’s newly released statistics report for January says Africa’s largest crude oil producer’s crude oil production for last December plunged to an average of 1.19 million barrels per day compared with its output for November.
The country had produced 1.26 million bpd in November, according to direct communication.
This translates to an average daily loss of 78,000 barrels recorded in December, and 2.42 million barrels in the month.
December’s production is the lowest last year, according to industry statistics.
Nigeria’s oil production stood at an average of 1.312 million bpd in the first quarter of 2021.
This moved up to an average of 1.34 million bpd in Q2, dropping to 1.27 million bpd in Q3, and to an average of 1.233 million barrels daily in the last quarter.
Aside from pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, the continued oil production plunge in the last quarter of 2021 might not be unconnected to the oil leak recorded in Santa Barbara, Nembe, Bayelsa State.
The Federal Government had announced the oil spill in Aiteo’s Santa Barbara facility operated last November.
Before the leak was eventually contained, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company had earlier announced that high-pressure effusion prevented its personnel from plugging the wellhead leak around the OML 29 southern oilfield.
The spill lasted for over 20 days.
Nigeria had also blamed low production on technical issues, community crisis, and oil theft.
In December, the average price of Brent, the international benchmark against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, was $74.17 per barrel, according to figures from countryeconomy.com.
At the official exchange rate of N415.45 to a dollar, it implies that the loss of 2.418 million barrels of crude oil in December reduced the country’s earnings by about N74.51bn last December alone.
Data compiled from NNPC’s Crude Oil Marketing Division report of events that affected oil production in August, September and October indicated that the country consistently posted losses during the period under review.
The report had shown that the worth of the crude volumes lost by the country in August, September and October were N194.71bn, N195.246bn and N166.05bn respectively.
This implies that the value of crude oil that was lost by Nigeria during the three-month period was about N556bn.
To curtail the menace, stakeholders called for the deployment of the latest technologies in securing oil infrastructure.
The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said, “Government should deploy automated pipelines as well as latest technologies to protect oil assets.”
On his part, the former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr.Sam Nzekwe, said, “We can’t be losing such huge sums. The government should explore other forms of technology to manage this concern.”
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