Oil Production in Nigeria Declines

Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum


Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries says oil production in Nigeria and some of its members declined in March while much of the world’s demand of oil is expected to come from China

OIL output from Nigeria as at March is 1.67 million barrels per day, bpd, declining from 1.80 million bpd in February, according to the latest report from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, published on its website, Thursday, April 16. The country pumped 1.96 million bpd in January.

Production also declined in four other OPEC members, namely: Algeria, Angola, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, while the rest (excluding Kuwait whose production remained unchanged), led by Saudi Arabia, saw an increase.

Crude oil production from Algeria, Angola, UAE and Venezuela fell to 1.12 million bpd (from 1.13 million in February), 1.75 million (from 1.79 million), 2.91 million (from 2.98 million) and 2.73 million (from 2.74 million), respectively, based on direct communication.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, also saw the second-largest drop in rig count after Venezuela in March, data from Baker Hughes Incorporated and OPEC’s estimates showed.

Rig count, which is largely a reflection of the level of exploration, development and production activities occurring in the oil and gas sector, dropped to 32 in Nigeria last month from 36 in February and 38 in January.

OPEC Reference Basket retreated in March by $1.60 to $52.46/b as the market refocused on the oversupply situation as demand remained subdued. ICE Brent and Nymex WTI futures contracts also fell $1.86 and $2.87 to average $56.94/b and $47.85/b, respectively, for the month. The Brent-WTI spread widened to around $9/b.

According to OPEC, world economic growth for 2015 is forecast at 3.4 percent, unchanged from the previous report. The OECD growth estimate for the year also remains the same at 2.2 percent.

It said that United States growth in 2015 remains unchanged at 2.9 percent while better-than-expected growth in the Euro-zone has resulted in an upwardly revised forecast of 1.3 percent. In contrast, Japan’s growth has been revised lower to 0.8 percent. China’s growth forecast remains unchanged at 7.0 percent in 2015. India is forecast to see growth of 7.5 percent for the year. “The most recent softening trend in the US and some major emerging markets will need to be carefully monitored,” the report said

“World Oil Demand World oil demand growth in 2014 was revised down marginally to 0.95 mb/d. For 2015, oil demand growth is anticipated to be around 1.17 mb/d, unchanged from the previous MOMR. Almost two thirds of 2015 oil demand growth is seen coming from China, Other Asia and the Middle East. World Non-OPEC oil supply growth in 2014 now stands at 2.17 mb/d, following an upward revision of 0.13 mb/d since the previous report. In 2015, non-OPEC oil supply is now projected to grow by 0.68 mb/d, following a downward revision of 165 tb/d compared to the previous assessment,” it said.

“US tight oil and Canadian oil sands output are expected to see lower growth following the recent strong declines in rig counts. OPEC NGLs are expected to grow by 0.19 mb/d in 2015, following growth of 0.18 mb/d last year. In March, OPEC crude production increased by 0.81 mb/d to average 30.79 mb/d, according to secondary sources. Product Markets and Refining Operations Product markets remained healthy in the Atlantic Basin in March. Higher gasoline demand ahead of the driving season provided support amid tight sentiment fuelled by the heavy maintenance season and some outages in the US. Meanwhile, the Asian market exhibited a positive performance supported by the increasing light and middle distillates demand in several countries in the region. Tanker Market Dirty tanker spot freight rates declined in March, mainly due to declines in VLCC and Aframax spot freight rates, which fell by 14 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

— Apr. 27, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT