Nigeria’s oil rig count slightly increased to 26 in February, from the 25 recorded in January, this year, Baker Hughes Incorporated and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, secretariat data shows.
But the nation remains number eight out of the 13 – member OPEC, whose total rig count also slightly increased to 554, from the 550 recorded in January. The data showed that Nigeria’s rig count still falls below the 30 recorded about this time in 2015 and 34 recorded in 2014. Among OPEC members, Saudi Arabia led with a rig count of 155, followed by Venezuela, 96, Iran, 61, Kuwait, 59, Algeria, 50, United Arab Emirate, 49, Iraq, 40, Qatar, 11, Ecuador, 7, Angola, 3, Libya, 1, Gabon, 0. Africa’s non OPEC members still maintained the 16 rig count it recorded in January.
“Regulatory uncertainty has resulted in fewer investments in new oil and natural gas projects, and no licensing round has occurred since 2007. The amount of money that Nigeria loses every year from not passing the PIB is estimated to be as high as $15bn,” the United States Energy Information Administration said in its ‘Nigeria Brief’.
It indicated that Nigeria has the second-largest amount of proven crude oil reserves in Africa, but exploration activity has slowed. Rising security problems, coupled with regulatory uncertainty, have contributed to decreased exploration,” the EIA said.