Emboldened by the return of Nigeria’s crude oil production status, the federal government is projecting to hit 1.6 million barrels of oil per day in 2023.
The minister of finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed who dropped the hint last weekend, assured that efforts are being made to achieve the target by the first quarter of next year.
OPEC confirmed an oil production mark of 1.185 million (bpd) for Nigeria in November in its Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) released early last week.
Nigeria’s output had fallen as low as 1 million in August, the lowest in years. Officials posit that the country’s misfortune is the massive oil theft and vandalisation of infrastructure.
The situation forced a lot of oil sector players, especially the multinationals out of the oil exploration and production space in Nigeria. Some others simply curtailed he volume of their engagements
Oil production stood at 1.014 million barrels in October.
In what looks like evidence and support to Nigeria’s Q1, 2023 ambition, Goldman Sachs has predicted that production issues will ease in Nigeria and Kazakhstan by next year.
Goldman Sachs also slashed its oil price forecasts for 2023, saying, it sees a market surplus early next year easing risks of winter price spikes.
The Wall Street bank cut its Brent oil forecasts for the first and second quarter of 2023 to $90 and $95 a barrel from $115 and $105 per barrel respectively.
The bank said, there was less risk of oil prices spiking this winter with China consuming less than previously expected, Russia exporting near pre-war levels, and production issues easing in Nigeria and Kazakhstan.
Goldman expects the oil market to end the current quarter with a surplus of 1.6 million barrels per day(bpd), while seasonally lower demand would leave the first quarter next year with a surplus of 1.3 million bpd.
It forecasts global demand will grow by 2 million bpd in 2023, as China reopens and international travel recovers.
Goldman said, for 2023, it sees Brent oil averaging $98 per barrel and WTI at $92 a barrel, down from its earlier forecasts of $110 for Brent and $105 a barrel for WTI.
For the final two quarters of next year, Goldman said, it expects Brent to rise to $100-$105 a barrel, still lower than its previous forecasts of $110 per barrel. It added that, it expects prices to rise in 2024, with Brent averaging $105 per barrel and WTI $99 a barrel.
So far this quarter, Brent crude prices are down nearly 6 per cent. They have fallen more than 40% from a March peak of $139 a barrel.
“Despite the recent price declines, commodities will still likely finish the year as the best performing asset class in 2022,” Goldman said in a separate research note on Wednesday, seeing S&P GSCI TR returns of about 23% this year and 43% in 2023.