Data released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries showed that Nigeria’s daily crude oil production fell by 67,000 barrels per day last month, thus making Nigeria lose its status as Africa’s top oil producer to Angola.
In its Monthly Oil Market Report for April, which was released on Wednesday, OPEC reported that Nigeria produced 1.677 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down from 1.744 million bpd in February, while the Angolan oil output rose from 1.767 million bpd to 1.782 million.
This is the second time in four months that Nigeria has been displaced from the top position by Angola in the production of crude oil in Africa.
In November last year, OPEC’s statistics showed that Nigeria’s production fell by 250,000, causing it to produce 1.607 million bpd, down from 1.812 million bpd in October. While Angola produced 1.722 million bpd, compared to 1.607 million bpd the previous month. Nigeria, as a major player in the global oil market, loses about 250,000 barrels daily due to this drop in production, leading to a low supply of gas and the loss in production capacity for most of the power plants in the country.
While Nigeria had consistently been Africa’s largest oil exporter, its loadings have fallen below those of Angola several times over the past year as it dealt with militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
As a result of becoming Africa’s top oil producing nation, western countries may be more willing to conduct more business with Angola as it shows how reliable and secure their channels of oil production are, further reducing Nigeria’s potential revenue from oil.