the The number of functional crude oil production rigs in Nigeria fell by 37.5% to just 10 operational rigs in March 2022, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said.
An oil rig, offshore platform, or oil and/or gas production platform is a large structure with facilities for extracting and processing oil and natural gas that is found in rock formations under the seabed.
Nigeria is an important member of OPEC and has championed the group’s activities for decades, although it recently failed to meet its monthly oil production quota as approved by the organization.
Data obtained by our correspondent on Friday from OPEC’s latest monthly oil market report for April 2022 showed Nigeria’s operational oil rigs had been in decline since 2019.
In its number and units of global rigs, OPEC said that in 2019 Nigeria had an average of 16 functioning rigs, but that number fell to 11 in 2020 and further plummeted to reach an average of seven in 2021.
In fact, the organization revealed that the country’s platforms fell to five in the second quarter of 2021, before rising to 10 in the third quarter of the same year, but finally fell back to seven in the fourth quarter of 2021. last year.
It rose to eight functional rigs in the first quarter of this year, according to OPEC data, as the organization’s report further showed that Nigeria’s oil rigs numbered eight in February. 2022.
The number of rigs appreciated slightly in March this year to 10. As a result, fluctuations in the number of rigs in Nigeria indicated that it rose from an average of 16 in 2019 to 10 in March 2022, representing a decline of 37.5%.
Meanwhile, the report showed that apart from Iran which had maintained 117 rigs since 2019, some other oil-producing countries have seen varying degrees of declines in their rig counts.
The number of platforms from Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, for example, also fell from 115, 45 and 62 to 74, 30 and 41 respectively between 2019 and March 2022, according to data from the ‘OPEC.
However, countries like Angola, Venezuela, and Libya, for example, have seen a marginal increase in the number of functioning oil rigs in their various areas.
Amid the declining number of oil rigs for Nigeria, the country has also suffered a massive drop in its crude oil production, making it unable to meet its OPEC-approved oil production quota since this year. .
Operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector have also blamed the drop in oil production on oil theft, while the government has raised concerns over the exit of international oil companies from Nigeria due to global pressure to net zero carbon emissions.
An analysis of the OPEC report also showed that Nigeria’s oil production has been falling since January this year.
It was observed that while the country was producing 1.413 million barrels of crude oil per day in January, this figure fell to 1.378 million barrels per day in February and plunged further to 1.354 million barrels per day in March.
The situation confirmed the concerns of government officials and international oil companies operating in Nigeria that crude oil production in the country had been declining since 2021.
On March 24, 2022, for example, The punch reported that the total value of Nigerian crude oil stolen between January 2021 and February 2022 was approximately $3.27 billion (representing 1.361 billion naira at the official exchange rate of 416.25 naira to the dollar), according to the figures from the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.
International oil companies and their Nigerian counterparts have also recently said that the massive theft of oil across the country poses a threat not only to their existence but also to the Nigerian economy.
But NNPC Group Chief Executive Mele Kyari had recently announced that measurable results against the massive theft of crude oil in the Niger Delta would be visible in three weeks.
Kyari said, “As we speak, there is massive disruption to our operations due to vandal and criminal activity along our pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
“It brought our production down to levels as low as we had ever seen before. Today we are producing less than 1.5 million barrels a day just because some criminals decided they should have breaches on our pipelines.
Nigeria’s OPEC oil production quota hovered around 1.8 million barrels per day. The country has repeatedly missed this target due to oil theft.
“And that is clearly the biggest form of business disruption we face today,” the NNPC boss had said.
He added: “That kind of commitment, the certifications that we have today around our systems and processes should be able to address that. And part of the answer is to put in place the best possible framework to contain this situation.
“I am pleased to tell us that tremendous work is underway between us and federally recognized security agencies, our partners, especially those in the corridors that are affected, as well as community members.
“And I am very optimistic that in the next two to three weeks very measurable results will occur so that our activities continue. As we speak, the Nigerian Navy is launching a massive operation to contain the theft of oil in the Niger Delta.
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