Latest statistics from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have shown that Angola has overtaken Nigeria as Africa’s top oil producer. Nigeria’s crude oil production fell by 67,000 barrels per day (bpd) last month.
But OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report released in April, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.677 million bpd in March based on direct communication, down from 1.744 million bpd in February.
The country recorded the biggest drop in output in the month among its peers in OPEC, followed by Venezuela, based on direct communication.
Exports and production of Nigeria’s popular crude grade Forcados continued to be shut due to a sabotage-related spill on the subsea Forcados pipeline.
The country has recently seen a rise in militant attacks in its main oil-producing region, the Niger Delta, denting oil production.
The country’s production figure for March was put at 1.722 million bpd by secondary sources, compared to 1.762 million bpd the previous month.
According to secondary sources, total OPEC crude oil production in March averaged 32.25 million bpd, a marginal increase of 15,000bpd over the previous month.
The 13-member oil cartel said in the report that, “crude oil output increased mostly from Iran, Iraq and Angola, while production decreased in UAE, Libya and Nigeria.”
Angola saw its oil output rise to 1.782 million bpd last month from 1.767 million bpd in February, based on direct communication, according to the OPEC report.
The southern African country had in November 2015 overtaken Nigeria in output level as it produced 1.722 million bpd, compared to 1.607 million bpd produced by Nigeria, OPEC’s December report showed.
In its latest monthly report, OPEC believes crude supply outside the producer group is set to fall more than expected, with weaker Chinese, Colombian, UK and US oil output eclipsing better outlooks for Canada, Norway, Oman and Russia.
The outlook for non- OPEC supply has been hit largely by lower expectations for crude oil production from China’s onshore mature fields.
OPEC also cited the postponement of major new projects due to reduced cash flow as the impact of lower prices takes its toll.
It now sees output falling by 730,000bpd over the year, up from a previous estimate of 700,000bpd, to average 56.39 million bpd in 2016.