The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has reported that Nigeria’s oil rigs count crashed 50%, from 16 to eight between 2019 and 2022.
This underscores the magnitude of challenges Nigeria has faced in the oil production sector, and to that extent, the meeting of OPEC monthly allocation over the last decade.
According to the OPEC latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) report, while the average rigs count was 16 in 2019, it fell to 11 to 2020, and fell further to seven in 2021.
According to the oil cartel, in during Q1, 2022, the count was eight; the number went up to 11 in Q2 of the same year, and yet again fell to nine in the third quarter.
Last September, the total number of rigs was seven and although it rose by one, to eight in October, it was still half the number Nigeria had in 2019 when the sector had not been bugged by production issues.
OPEC stated further that within the period in review, Algeria’s number of rigs also fell from 45 to 32; Angola’s grew from four to nine, while Libya’s rigs count slumped from 14 to six.
For world rigs count, outside OPEC, the United States rigs fell from 944 to 768 in October, while the UK’s fell from 22 to 15. The global West led by America has been shutting down many of their facilities in preparation for the gradual adoption of renewable energy.
OPEC rigs count was 394 for the period even as non-OPEC was pegged at 1,985. The rigs data for October was released amid a marginal increase of 77,000 barrels per day oil production, during the month and a further rise to 171,000 barrels per day in November.
But the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has put current production at 1.6 million bpd, although traditionally OPEC and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) release production figures.
The production was still about 700,000 barrels per day less than Nigeria’s quota for the month, which in the last few months has been pegged at 1.8 bpd on the average. In total, Nigeria’s output was 1.186 million bpd in November.
The figure, the OPEC report indicated, were far less than what they were in 2020, regarded as the Covid-19 year, when Nigeria produced 1.493 million bpd and in 2021, when it averaged 1.323 million bpd.
The rise in the oil rigs in October was however about 14.2% when put side by side the September figure, which was pegged at a low of seven.
In recent times, the country’s active rigs have progressively decreased, but were made worse after Nigeria began shutting down many of its offshore platforms as oil prices took a downward slope and the producers’ group embarked on production curbs to stabilize the market in 2020, following the upsurge of the Covid-19 pandemic.