Nigeria drops to Africa’s 4th biggest oil producer, as 437,000 barrels are stolen daily
Nigeria is facing a record reduction in oil production, dropping from the first largest producer in Africa to the fourth, behind Angola, Algeria and Libya, according to the latest report of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The monthly oil market report for August, published by the oil cartel OPEC, showed that Nigeria’s production stood at 980,000 barrels a day, a decline of more than 100,000 barrels per day compared to July. The figure was about 50% of OPEC’s target for the West African nation in August. After having been for decades Africa’s largest oil producer, in recent years, Nigeria’s output has been hampered by theft and sabotage at production sites. Oil was once Nigeria’s biggest earner and contributor to national GDP, but the latest data shows information and communication technology and trade contributed more during the second quarter this year.
Meanwhile, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPCL) has now reported that an average of 437,000 barrels of oil is stolen on daily basis by criminals in Nigeria. According to Premium Times’ data analysis, between January and July, the once Africa’s biggest oil producer lost an average of 437,000 barrels of oil a day to criminal entities and individuals who illicitly tap pipelines onshore and offshore in the Niger Delta region. NNPCL’s managing director, Mele Kyari, recently blamed a section of Nigerian society for complicity that has led to the loss of thousands of dollars in the oil theft, undermining the country’s oil production. These losses come at a time when Nigeria passed a fuel subsidy in April. International lenders have long urged Nigeria to ditch them and the authorities came under fresh pressure as they scrambled this year to secure billions in emergency funding to plug the budget.