By Odunewu Segun
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has insisted Nigeria’s daily oil production is still at 1.55mbpd, as against the claims by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu that the production has climbed to two million mbpd.
Dr. Kachikwu during the week announced that Nigeria was now producing oil at about two million barrels per day, while Maikanti Baru, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the country had progressed to 2.1 million barrels per day.
Speaking at the 2017 Nigeria oil and gas conference and exhibition, Baru said the ongoing negotiations with stakeholders in the Niger Delta is responsible for the surge.
“Crude production has steadily increased to 2.1m b/d due to some strategic dialogue efforts embarked upon by the federal government in the Niger Delta,” Baru had said.
On the flipside however, OPEC, via its monthly oil market report said Nigeria was still producing at an average 1.545 million barrels per day, according to secondary sources.
Based on direct communications with Nigeria, OPEC said the country’s production levels were still around 1.269 million barrels per day.
OPEC however adds that the Nigerian economy was on a path to recovery, quoting an increase in the country’s manager’s index.
According to the 13-member oil cartel Nigeria’s crude production fell from two million barrels per day to as low as 1.27 million bpd amid shutdown of two major export grades.
In its newly released monthly oil market report for April, Nigeria produced 1.269 million bpd in March, recording the biggest decline of 157,000 bpd last month.
In February, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited shut down the Bonga field for repairs. The Bonga Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel has the capacity to produce 225,000 Barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
According to the NNPC, at the forcados terminal alone, about 300,000 bpd to 330,000 bpd were shut in since February 2016 following the force majeure declared by SPDC.
While Nigeria had consistently been Africa’s largest oil exporter, its loadings hav fallen below those of Angola several times over the past year as it dealt with militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Nigeria Delta.