Nigeria’s oil production increased by 6.73 million barrels to 36.7 million barrels in May 2023, leading to a cumulative revenue of about N1.27tn in the month under review.
Data obtained on Friday from the latest Monthly Oil Market Report of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries for June 2023, indicated that crude oil output from Nigeria rose from a total of 29.97 million barrels in April to 36.7 million barrels in May.
OPEC stated that crude oil production figures received by the global oil cartel, based on direct communication from Nigeria, showed that the country pumped 999,000 barrels of oil per day in April, but this moved up to 1,184,000 barrels per day in May this year.
Industry figures obtained from Statistica, a global statistical firm, showed that the average costs of Brent, the international benchmark for crude, in April and May were $75/barrel and $80/barrel respectively.
By producing a total of 29.97 million barrels of crude oil in April 2023, at an average price $80/barrel, Nigeria earned about $2.4bn (N1.1tn at the official exchange rate of N461/$, as of April this year).
Also, by pumping out 36.7 million barrels of crude in the month of May, at an average cost of $75/barrel, Nigeria’s oil earnings rose to about $2.75bn, an equivalent of N1.27tn, based on the official exchange rate of N461/$ as of May 2023.
It was, however, observed that while the cumulative difference in oil production by Nigeria in both months was over six million barrels, there was a drop in the average cost of crude from about $80/barrel in April to $75/barrel in May.
Oil output from Nigeria has been fluctuating since the past one year, as the country recorded its lowest oil production volume of 0.937 million barrels per day in September 2022. The Federal Government and oil sector players blamed this on the massive crude theft in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta.
The situation also led to humongous revenue losses for the country, international oil companies operating in NIgeria, as well as indigenous operators in the industry.
But the country’s oil output started improving after September, following concerted efforts by security officials and oil operators, as industry figures showed that crude production rose to 1.014 million barrels per day in October.
This indicated an increase of 0.077mbpd when compared to the 0.937mbpd output in September. In November, the country pumped 1.185mbpd crude, representing an increase of 0.171mbpd when matched against what was produced in October.
The rise in output continued in December last year, as Nigeria produced 1.253mbpd in that month, indicating an increase of 0.05mbpd when compared to its output in November.
The 1.258mbpd oil production in January 2023 was about 23,000bpd higher than the 1.235mbpd crude oil output in December 2022.
The momentum was sustained in February, with an output of 1.31mbpd. But the volume dropped to 1.27mbpd in March, putting an end to the seven-month run in Nigeria’s oil output. It further went down in April to 0.998mbpd.
But the latest figures contained in OPEC’s June 2023 report showed that oil production from Nigeria picked up in May, as it rose to 1.18mbpd, a development that shot up the country’s oil earnings for the month of May.
Efforts have been ongoing by both the Federal Government and other operators in the sector to halt the plunge in Nigeria’s oil production.
To help stem the loss of crude, The PUNCH recently reported that the Federal Government directed the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to monitor crude oil production and take over the regulatory oversight of crude oil export terminals nationwide.
It gave the order in a memo signed by the former Chief of Staff to the former President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and addressed to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, as well as the chief executives of NUPRC and the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
The memo, dated May 3, 2023, pointed out that the directive was from former President Muhammadu Buhari, and was in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The memo, titled, ‘Regulatory Oversight of Crude Export Terminals,’ read in part, “The above mentioned subject matter and the relevant correspondence (Ref: NUPRC/1195/Vol.1/36) refers.
“I write to inform you that Mr President has: (a) Directed immediate compliance with the resolution NASS/9S/R/03/934 of the Senate that NUPRC Is thé sole and only regulatory entity to regulate and monitor the activities of all existing crude oil export terminals in Nigeria subsists in compliance with section 7ee of the PIA (2021);
“(b) Directed that the exercise of any regulatory role by the NMDPRA on any existing crude oil export terminal established prior to the effective date of the PIA should cease immediate; and (c) Directed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to ensure immediate compliance and report back within 14 days that the resolution as stipulated in (a) above are being adhered to by the NUPRC, NMDPRA, NNPCL (Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited), FMITI (Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment), industry players and relevant MDAs.”
The memo was copied to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, former ministers of Trade and Transportation, Director-General, Department of State Services, and National Security Adviser, Group Chief Executive of NNPCL.l, amongst others.