The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said that Nigeria’s crude oil production has fallen from two million barrels per day to as low as 1.27 million bpd.
The Punch quoted OPEC as saying that the West African giant produced 1.269 million bpd in March.
The 13-member oil cartel, in its newly released monthly oil market report for April, said Nigeria recorded the biggest decline of 157,000 bpd last month.
Few days after Italy’s Eni lifted force majeure on Brass River crude oil exports from Nigeria in February, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said crude oil production had risen to two million bpd.
However, early March, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) shut down the Bonga field to enable it to commence turnaround maintenance on it, a development that has reduced oil production and exports.
SNEPCo also said production from the field is expected to resume at the conclusion of the exercise this month.
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.
The shutdown of the Bonga field came a year after Shell declared force majeure on Forcados oil exports after the terminal was shut. It has yet to be lifted as of the time of filing this report.
Earlier, Kachikwu had said 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.
Addressing stakeholders 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.