Oil rigs in Nigeria are falling to their lowest level in two years

Oil production in Nigeria faces many successive challenges, which have made the country unable to meet its monthly quota set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC”. Theft of black crude is the most prominent of these challenges.

In less than two years, the number of crude oil production rigs operating in Nigeria fell 37.5% to just 10 rigs last March, according to OPEC data.

The term oil or gas drilling rigs refers to a tower with a column (tube), at the bottom of which is a head designed for special materials, to extract and process oil and natural gas found in the rock formations under the sea floor. This tower can be installed on land or on a truck, or on a ship, or On a freely platform, it can be moved from one place to another.

dip oil rigs

Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil reserves and the largest black gold producer in Africa.

According to the latest OPEC report on the oil market, issued in April, Nigeria owned 16 oil rigs in 2019, but this number fell to 11 rigs in 2020, then fell to only 7 rigs in 2021.

During the second quarter of 2021, the number of oil rigs in Nigeria decreased to 5, before rising to 10 during the third quarter of the same year, but before the end of the year, the number of oil rigs in Nigeria fell to only 7.

oil in nigeria
oil field in nigeria

The first quarter of this year witnessed the addition of a new excavator, bringing the number to 8 during last February, according to OPEC data.

Last March, the number of oil rigs in Nigeria was estimated at 10, compared to 16 in 2019, a decrease of 37.5%.

The number of oil rigs decreased in several other member countries of the organization, with the exception of Iran, which has maintained 117 drilling rigs since 2019.

For example, the number of drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia decreased from 115 to 74, in Algeria it decreased from 45 rigs to 30, and in the United Arab Emirates the number of oil rigs decreased from 62 to 41, between 2019 and March 2022.

Despite this, countries such as Angola, Venezuela and Libya have seen marginal increases in the number of oil rigs operating.

Oil theft in Nigeria

Companies operating in the Nigerian energy sector attribute the decline in oil production to the theft of black crude, while the Nigerian government’s fears are rising that international oil companies operating in the country will exit due to global pressure to achieve carbon neutrality.

The monthly report of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed a gradual decline in Nigeria’s oil production, starting in January of this year.

oil in nigeria

Nigeria produced 1.413 mb/d of crude oil in January, fell to 1.378 mb/d in February, then fell to 1.354 mb/d in March.

During the period from January 2021 to February 2022, the total value of stolen crude oil from Nigeria amounted to about $3.27 billion, according to data from the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Authority, which was reported by the local newspaper, The Punch.

The international oil companies operating in Nigeria stressed that the theft of black crude poses a threat not only to the continuation of their business in the country, but also a threat to the Nigerian economy in general.

The general manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Malam Melle Kyari, attributed the decline in the country’s crude production to less than 1.5 million barrels per day to the theft and sabotage of oil fields for more than a year.

Earlier this month, the Nigerian Navy launched a special operation that will last 3 months; To prevent oil thieves from further sabotaging Nigeria’s oil and gas facilities, by deploying 40 ships, 5 helicopters and 200 boats.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries set Nigeria’s share of oil production at 1.8 million barrels per day, a quota that the African country could not meet due to the thefts of black crude.

Nigeria has more than 206.53 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, making it one of the 6 largest countries in the world in terms of gas reserves, according to data from the Oil Resources Administration, and oil production in Nigeria accounts for about 9% of the country’s GDP.

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