Nigeria’s oil production increases after months of decline

William Clowes, Bloomberg December 12, 2022

(Bloomberg) —Nigeria’s oil production increased by almost 15% during November following the restoration of operations at Shell Plc’s Forcados terminal.

The West African country produced a daily average of 1.41 million barrels of combined crude and condensate — a light hydrocarbon — last month, up from 1.23 million barrels in October, according to data published by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission. Crude output at 1.19 MMbpd is still almost a third below the quota allowed by the OPEC+ alliance.

The improvement was driven by the October restart of Shell’s terminal following a 10-week interruption for repair work. Production of grades exported from the facility nearly tripled last month to about 230,000 barrels per day, according to NUPRC’s data.

Nigeria’s production has declined steadily since early 2020 and reached a multidecade low in August that saw the country briefly lose its crown as Africa’s largest crude producer to Angola and then Libya, according to a Bloomberg survey of OPEC output.

The authorities have blamed massive levels of theft on pipelines for shutting down wells and killing off investment.

Two other major terminals — Eni SpA’s Brass and Shell’s Bonny — continue to operate at a fraction of their capacities “simply because we are unable to deliver crude” into the plants because of insecurity, Bala Wunti, chief upstream investment officer at the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Co., told Lagos-headquartered Arise News last week.

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