Nigeria’s crude oil production decreased by 8,100 barrels per day (bpd) from 1.828 mbpd it recorded in December, to 1.819mbpd in January.The drop may not be unconnected with the various line breaches caused by vandals in the later part of 2017, leading to the shut-in of production in many fields.
The development also impacted on the total Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) oil production, which averaged 32.30 mbpd in January, representing a minor decrease of 8,000 tbpd over the previous month.Nigeria’s oil production had witnessed a steady rise throughout last year, from the first to the last quarter, recording 1.594 mbpd, 1.763 mbpd and 1.765 mbpd respectively.
As stated by OPEC in its latest oil market report, while production mainly decreased in Venezuela, and Angola, partially offset by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, Nigeria has continued to experience pipeline disruption, impacting negatively on its production volumes.
For example, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) disclosed that a total 90 pipeline points were vandalised, 41 points failed to be welded, and another six were either ruptured or clamped in November 2017.
As stated by NNPC, 136 pipeline points were destroyed in the month under review. Port Harcourt Calabar-Aba and Aba-Enugu pipeline segment accounted for almost 67 per cent of the affected points.It stated: “About 195,000bopd remained shut-in for the entire month of October 2017, due to slow recoveries from some wells and repairs on the 42- inch export line and fuel gas line.
“A plant trip a result of gas detected caused a drop in production for a day at Akpo Terminal. The production shut-in was 22,000 barrels. Production also dropped for eight days due to shut-in of some wells as a result of request from NLNG for Akpo to cut off gas export due to operational issues. The production shut-in was 61,000bpd. Another 83,000 barrels of production was also shut-in for a day due to intervention and preventive maintenance activities.“The Trans Forcados Pipeline was shut down for eight days due to leaks in the Oteghele and Yeye axis with the loss of approximately 200,000bopd of production.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, assured that the Federal government is targeting an increase to 3mbpd.
“Investment is needed to maintain essential work, “he said, adding, “Just to get fields online and cap them will require an average of about $10 billion per year in investments over the next three to four years.”