Nigeria’s Oil Exports Hit Record Low, Amidst Lingering Massive Oil Theft

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Nigeria’s crude oil exports plunged below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, the lowest level on record.

Oil export analytics firm, Petro-Logistics, posted the record last weekend, noted that in the last three years, Nigeria’s crude oil exports have essentially halved.

The reported noted further that the underinvestment in the Nigerian oil industry and the perennial problem of oil theft from pipelines, in part, is responsible for plague on the oil sector in recent years.
Oil majors are not investing in Nigerian supply, and many foreign firms have either sold assets or signaled they would pursue divestments in Nigeria’s oil industry.

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According to data from the Nigerian Regulatory Commission [NUPRC] cited by Reuters last week, crude oil production slumped to below 1 million bpd last month, the lowest level since at least 1990.

The data showed that combined crude oil and condensate production fell to 1.18 million bpd in August, the lowest so far this year.

Per OPEC’s latest figures in the August Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), Nigerian oil production in July was at 1.183 million bpd, nearly flat compared to 1.176 million bpd in June.

Also Read: Nigeria Will Become Petroleum Net Exporter Before 2023 End — NNPC Boss

The report said Nigeria is underperforming the most among the OPEC+ members bound by the production pact. For the month of July, the country’s crude oil production target was at 1.799 million bpd, which means that the African OPEC producer was more than 600,000 bpd below its target. 

Despite crude oil trading at highs not seen in years, Nigeria has found it difficult, unlike other major oil producing countries, to reap the benefits of the high oil prices, with oil revenues coming in 61% below target during the period.

In the past five years, Nigeria has faced the worst tide of oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and, most critically, high gasoline prices, which the country subsidizes.

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Yesterday, a Nigerian ministry of petroleum official asserted that the country was losing $700 million every month because of oil theft. Still, low Nigerian oil exports haven’t pushed oil prices up in recent weeks as the market is focused on potential losses in demand that could come from a global economic slowdown and a possible recession in Europe

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