Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is eyeing an increase to his country’s oil production to 2.2 million bpd, the volume it had pumped before militant attacks in the Niger Delta started crippling the country’s output and exports in early 2016.
Presenting next year’s budget in Parliament, Buhari said he was willing to restore the 2.2-million-bpd production level—a statement that is probably cringeworthy for OPEC, who is hard-selling the cuts to the volatile markets, and who had exempted Nigeria from the collective cuts deal to curb its output to 32.5 million bpd, effective in January.
“We must all come together” to see peace in the Niger Delta, Reuters quoted President Buhari as saying in Parliament.
At the beginning of 2016, Nigeria’s oil production was some 2.1 million bpd, but scores of militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the delta has dragged down production, which was around 1.5 million bpd in August.
Decreased oil revenues from lower exports, coupled with the persistently low crude oil prices, have battered Nigeria’s economy, which slipped into recession in the second quarter this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Nigerian economy to contract by 1.7 percent this year and to slightly grow, by 0.6 percent, next year.
So raising exports and production of the vital oil industry - which accounts for around 70 percent of government revenues – is important for Nigeria. Related: Leaked Memo Reveals Trump’s Energy Priorities
Nigeria’s oil output managed to recover somewhat in September and October, amid a respite in the attacks, but then renewed attacks on the Forcados pipeline in early November dragged output down again, dashing Nigeria’s hopes of achieving a substantial increase in oil output by the end of this year.
According to OPEC’s monthly report published on Wednesday, Nigeria’s crude oil production in November stood at 1.692 million bpd, according to secondary sources. The November output rose by 62,700 bpd from October, the second-highest nominal increase in production among OPEC members after Angola.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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