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Nigeria’s Oil Exports Plunge To Record Low

  • Nigeria’s oil exports have plunged below 1 million barrels per day.
  • Petro-Logistics, an oil analytics firm, says that the country’s exports have essentially halved over the past three years.
  • Nigeria continues to battle oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and, most critically, high gasoline prices, which the country subsidizes.

Crude oil exports out of Nigeria plunged to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd), their lowest level on record, last month, oil export analytics firm Petro-Logistics said on Monday. 

Over the past three years, Nigeria’s crude oil exports have essentially halved, according to Petro-Logistics. 

Persistent underinvestment in the Nigerian oil industry and the perennial problem of oil theft from pipelines have plagued the sector in recent years. Oil majors are not investing in Nigerian supply, and many foreign firms have either sold assets or signaled they would pursue divestments in Nigeria’s oil industry. 

Crude oil production slumped to below 1 million bpd last month, the lowest level since at least 1990, according to data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission cited by Reuters last week. 

The data showed that combined crude oil and condensate production fell to 1.18 million bpd in August, the lowest so far this year. 

Per OPEC’s latest figures in the August Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), Nigerian oil production in July was at 1.183 million bpd, nearly flat compared to 1.176 million bpd in June. Nigeria is underperforming the most among the OPEC+ members bound by the production pact. For July, Nigeria’s crude oil production target was at 1.799 million bpd, which means that the African OPEC producer was more than 600,000 bpd below its target.  

Unlike other crude oil producers, Nigeria has found it impossible to reap the benefits of the high oil prices, with oil revenues coming in 61% below target during the period. That’s despite crude oil trading at highs not seen in years. Instead, Nigeria continues to battle oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and, most critically, high gasoline prices, which the country subsidizes. 

On Monday, a Nigerian official said the country was losing $700 million every month because of oil theft. 

Still, low Nigerian oil exports haven’t pushed oil prices up in recent weeks as the market is focused on potential losses in demand that could come from a global economic slowdown and a possible recession in Europe. 

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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