Nigeria’s Oil Production Rigs Drops to 10 

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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has released a data stating that the number of functional crude oil production rigs in Nigeria decreased by 37.5% to just 10 operational rigs in March 2022.

An oil rig, offshore platform, or oil and/or gas production platform is a large structure with facilities to extract, and process petroleum and natural gas that lie in rock formations beneath the seabed.

The information contained in OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2022 indicated that Nigeria’s operational oil rigs had been on the decline since 2019.

As at 2019, Nigeria had an average of 16 functional rigs. But this figure dropped to 11 in 2020 and crashed further to an average of seven last year (2021). OPEC noted in its report that Nigeria’s rigs dropped to as low as five in the second quarter of 2021, before picking up to 10 in the third quarter of same year, but eventually dropped again to seven in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The report said that Nigeria’s functional rigs moved to eight in the first quarter of this year. OPEC said the rig count appreciated marginally in March this year to 10.

It said that the fluctuations in Nigeria’s rig counts indicated that it dropped by from an average of 16 in 2019 to 10 in March 2022, representing a decrease of 37.5%.

OPEC said however that was not alone in varying rig counts. The report noted that aside from Iran, which had maintained 117 rigs since 2019, some other oil-producing nations witnessed varying degrees of declines in their rig counts.

In Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, for instance, their rig counts dropped from 115, 45 and 62 to 74, 30 and 41 respectively between 2019 and March 2022, OPEC said.

Countries such as Angola, Venezuela and Libya, saw marginal rise in the number of functional oil rigs in their various domains. In Nigeria’s case, OPEC noted what it described as “massive decline in its crude oil production” which accounts for the country being unable to meet its OPEC approved oil production quota since this year.

OPEC noted that the decline in Nigeria’s oil production has been on the increase since the beginning of this year.

While Nigeria produced 1.413 million barrels of crude oil daily in January, the figure dropped to 1.378 million barrels per day in February and plunged further to 1.354 million barrels per day in March.

Total value of Nigeria’s crude oil stolen between January 2021 and February 2022 is about $3.27bn (representing N1.361tn at the official exchange rate of N416.25 to the dollar), going by report from the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

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