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Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

Nigeria’s crude oil production rigs drop by 37.5%, says OPEC

The number of functional crude oil production rigs in Nigeria decreased by 37.5 per cent to just 10 operational rigs in March 2022, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has said.

An oil rig, offshore platform, or oil and/or gas production platform is a large structure with facilities to extract, and process petroleum and natural gas that lie in rock formations beneath the seabed.

Nigeria is a strong member of OPEC and has been championing activities of the group for decades, though failing lately in meeting its monthly oil production quota as approved by the organisation.

Data obtained by our correspondent on Friday from OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2022 showed that Nigeria’s operational oil rigs had been on the decline since 2019.

In its world rig count and units,  OPEC stated that in 2019 Nigeria had an average of 16 functional rigs, but this dropped to 11 in 2020 and crashed further to an average of seven in 2021.

In fact, the organisation revealed that the country’s rigs dropped to as low as five in the second quarter of 2021, before picking up to 10 in the third quarter of same year, but eventually dropped again to seven in the fourth quarter of last year.

It moved up to eight functional rigs in the first quarter of this year, going by OPEC data, as the organisation’s report further showed that Nigeria’s oil rigs were eight in February 2022.

The rig count appreciated marginally in March this year to 10. Hence, the fluctuations in Nigeria’s rig counts indicated that it dropped by from an average of 16 in 2019 to 10 in March 2022, representing a decrease of 37.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the report showed that aside from Iran which had maintained 117 rigs since 2019, some other oil-producing nations witnessed varying degrees of declines in their rig counts.

The rig counts of Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, for instance, also dropped from 115, 45 and 62 to 74, 30 and 41 respectively between 2019 and March 2022, according to OPEC data.

However, countries such as Angola, Venezuela and Libya, for instance, saw a marginal rise in the number of functional oil rigs in their various domains.

Amidst the drop in oil rig count for Nigeria, the country has also suffered massive decline 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 had also attributed the drop in oil production to oil theft, while the government had raised concerns about the exit of international oil companies from Nigeria due to the global push for net zero carbon emission.

Also an analysis of the OPEC report showed that Nigeria’s oil production had been falling since January this year.

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