OPEC pegs Nigeria’s crude oil losses at N101billion

By EDU ABADE, Business Editor

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has declared that Nigeria’s crude oil production dipped by 2.3 million barrels in July 2022 compared to the production level in June 2022.

In its latest Monthly Oil Market Report for August 2022, OPEC stated that crude oil production figures based on direct communication indicated that Nigeria’s output dropped by an average of 74,000 barrels per day in July.

This implies that for the 31 days in July, the country lost about 2.3 million barrels of crude oil. The organisation further stated that the average cost of Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, during the month under review was $105.12/barrel.

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By losing 2.3 million barrels in July this year, it means Nigeria’s oil earnings fell by about $241.1 million or N101.13 billion (at the official exchange rate of N419.37 to the dollar) in the month under review.
 Data from OPEC further showed that Nigeria’s oil production in June 2022 amounted to 1.158 million barrels per day, but dropped to 1.084 million barrels per day in July.

The country had produced 1.024 million barrels per day in May this year, according to figures released by OPEC at the weekend.

The Federal Government, operators and industry experts have consistently blamed Nigeria’s poor output and its continued failure to meet the monthly oil production quota approved by OPEC on massive crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Muda Yusuf, blamed the challenges in the oil sector on the high level of insecurity across the country, adding that this had continued to discourage investors in the sector, leading to lower production of crude oil and lower earnings for Nigeria despite the increased price of crude, which witnessed marginal decrease in recent times.

He said: “Investors in the oil and gas sector continue to lament the challenges posed by insecurity, oil theft, unstable policies and inappropriate fiscal regimes. The downstream sector has continued to be weighed down by the pricing regimes and the regulatory environments which have continued to dim the growth prospects in the sector.”

Meanwhile OPEC stated that crude oil prices dipped in July, as against their costs in June, adding that crude in OPEC Reference Basket fell by $9.17 or 7.8 per cent month-on-month in July to an average $108.55 per barrel.

“Oil futures prices remained highly volatile in July, amid a sharp drop in liquidity. The ICE Brent front month declined $12.38 or 10.5 per cent in July to an average $105.12 per barrel, while NYMEX WTI declined by $14.96 or 13.1 per cent to average $99.38 per barrel,” it stated.

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