THE Nigerian government’s offensive against oil theft seems to be paying off as oil production rose above the one million barrels per day (bpd) mark for the first time since July 2022, findings have shown.
The NNPCLtd has failed to remit to the Federation Account since January due to oil theft and rising subsidy payments.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) confirmed the oil appreciation in its latest crude oil and condensate production data for October 2022.
After a two-month record decline, oil production averaged 1,014,485 bpd in October.
According to the report, the production increase was more than 8.18 per cent, compared to September’s production figure of 937,766 bpd.
Despite the appreaciation, the production figure did not measure up to the 1.8 million bpd production quota set by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
With the addition of condensate, oil output rose to a total of 1.23 million bpd from 1.14 million in September, according to the report.
Condensate is a mixture of light liquid hydrocarbons, similar to a light (high API) crude oil — usually separated out of a natural gas stream at the point of production (field separation) when the temperature and pressure of the gas are dropped to atmospheric conditions.
In January, February, March, April and May, the country’s crude oil production averaged 1.39 million bpd, 1.25 million bpd, 1.24 million bpd, 1.22 million bpd, and 1.02 million bpd, respectively.
Crude oil production averaged 1.16 million bpd in June, 1.08 million bpd in August and 972,394 bpd in August.
The NUPRC had forecast an exponential increase in Nigeria’s oil output, targeting an additional 500,000 bpd to the country’s oil production.
The NUPRC chief executive officer, Gbenga Komolafe, said the volume would be achieved by getting about 40 to 50 per cent of the shut-in deliverables.
“Our projection is that we can hit over two million barrels and surpass our OPEC quota,” he added.
In recent times, the government has reinforced the fight against the lingering oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which has led to declining oil output and oil revenue.
In October, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd) uncovered an illegal four-kilometre pipeline that had operated undetected in the last nine years.
To combat the massive oil theft, NNPCLtd awarded pipeline surveillance contracts to private companies, including the one owned by Tompolo, a former Niger Delta warlord.
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