Angola overtakes Nigeria again as crude production drops by 67,000 bpd

ANGOLA has overtaken Nigeria as Africa’s biggest producer oil producer in March with a total production output of 1.782 million barrel per day as against Nigeria’s 1.677 million barrel per day in the same month, 67,000 down from what was produced in February.

OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for April, which was released recently, 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.

According to the report from the 3-member oil cartel, “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.

Nigeria 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 in 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.

According to the 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.

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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 730,000 bpd over the year, up from a previous estimate of 700,000 bpd, to average 56.39 million bpd in 2016.

OPEC also partly attributed the 20 per cent surge in oil futures in March to weaker non-OPEC supply in 2016, supply disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria, signs US shale is shrinking, along with expectations of a supply intervention plan by major crude exporters in Doha on April 17.

Meanwhile, the prices of crude at the international market dropped to $41.87 per barrel, with Brent crude gaining strength at $44.32 per barrel.