Upstream: Nigeria’s oil output rises 30% to 1.6m bpd

Nigeria’s crude oil production, including condensate, rose year-on-year, YoY by 30 per cent to 1.6 million barrels per day, bpd in October 2023, from 1.2 million bpd recorded in the corresponding period of 2022. But on month-on-month, MoM basis, the nation’s oil output dropped marginally by 0.7 per cent to 1.562 million, bpd in October 2023, from 1.572 million bpd in the preceding month of September 2023.

A closer check on the production figures showed that the nation’s output, including condensate stood at 1.5 million bpd in January 2023, dropped to 1.3 million bpd in April before climbing to 1.6 million bpd in September, apparently the highest so far in 2023. However, despite the improvement in crude oil production at 1.6 million barrels per day, it remained significantly lower than the 2023 budget benchmark of 1.69 million barrels per day and the OPEC quota of 1.7 million barrels per day.

Also, an expert, who pleaded anonymity, said with two months to the end of the year, the Federal Government’s target of increasing output to two million bpd has become increasingly doubtful, due to limited investment and other factors in the industry. The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri had expressed the determination of the government to increase production to 2mbpd by December. He said the government was committed to removing all bottlenecks hindering ease of exploration and production in the energy sector.

Reacting to issues raised by the oil companies concerning operating environment in the Niger Delta region and divestments by International Oil Companies, IOCs, the Minister said: “I want to assure you that we have the capacity to resolve whatever issues that exist or may arise in the future and together we can achieve a better sector in the interest of our country”. Similarly, the Managing Director of Oilserve Limited, Engr. Emeka Okwuosa    blamed obsolete pipeline systems that lack the latest monitoring technology for the constant attacks on the crude oil pipelines across the Niger Delta region.

According to him, “most of the problems we have with the crude oil pipeline delivery systems is that when we talk about crude oil theft it is not just about the trunk lines which are the major pipelines that deliver to export terminals, it is about protecting from the wellhead. “From the wellheads you have the flow lines and those flow lines deliver to collection points. All those are susceptible to attacks. The major problem is that some of these flow lines were built decades ago and they were built not with the technologies we have now. Most of them do not have fibre optic detection systems and so you have to depend on physical protection”, he added. Dr Okuosa noted that while modern pipelines being built in the country are installed with the technology to monitor them, the older systems need to be upgraded or replaced entirely.