Nigeria experienced a significant surge in its crude oil output, rising by 7.7% in December 2023, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Monthly Oil Market Reports (MOMR) released on January 18, 2024.
The country’s oil production reached 1.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) in December, reflecting a 100,000 bpd increase from the previous month.
This rise brings Nigeria closer to meeting its 2024 budget oil production benchmark of 1.78 mbpd.
OPEC+, which provided the data based on information from secondary sources, confirmed that Nigeria remains the highest African oil-producing and exporting nation.
Stakeholders maintained that the sustained increase in oil production is a positive outcome of the Federal Government’s intensified efforts against key challenges affecting Nigeria’s oil sector, including vandalism, oil theft, and malfeasance.
Recent actions, such as the discovery and destruction of 52 illegal refineries in several states, removal of 32 illegal connections in the Niger Delta, and uncovering of seven illegal storage sites in Akwa Ibom State, contribute to this recovery.
With crude oil prices closing at $78.85 per barrel and projections suggesting an average of $82 per barrel for Brent crude oil in 2024, experts believe Nigeria may experience favourable revenue conditions, surpassing the 2024 budget benchmark of $77.96 per barrel.
However, achieving this depends on maintaining stability and volume in production output while meeting OPEC quotas.
Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), expressed confidence in attaining the 1.78 mbpd target, saying, “The early signs of improved oil production output give us confidence that the 2024 crude oil production benchmark is achievable.”
On his part, Dr. Muda Yusuf, Managing Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, lauded the positive impact of high oil prices on investments.
He said, “The uptrend in oil price is likely to continue deep into 2024 as the geo-political factors driving the price have not abated. The present administration has been unwavering in its commitment to tackling crude oil theft. We expect the momentum to be sustained in 2024, and the impact on the outlook will be significantly impressive.”