Another African Country Overtakes Nigeria as Top Oil Producer

Another African Country Overtakes Nigeria as Top Oil Producer

  • Nigeria has lost its top-oil-producing spot to Libya, which surpassed the West African country in March
  • A report by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) showed that Libya produced 1.24 million barrels of crude oil in March 2024
  • Nigeria, on the other hand, produced about 1.23 million barrels of crude oil for March, compared to the 1.32 million barrels produced in April’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment and the economy for over a decade.

According to data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Libya overtook Nigeria as the top African oil producer in March.

The April 2024 monthly oil report published by OPEC said the North African country recorded 1.24 million barrels per day of crude oil in March, a 5.7% increase from the 1.17mbpd recorded in February.

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Nigeria loses spot to Libya in crude oil production
Libya overtakes Nigeria as a top crude oil producer in March 2024 Credit: Bloomberg/Contributor
Source: Getty Images

Nigeria's oil production drops

Nigeria recorded an oil output of 1.23mbpd in March compared to the 1.32mbpd produced in February. The March figure represented the lowest rate Nigeria recorded since July 2023.

Reports say the decline of almost 91,000 barrels per day shows the difficulty of the Nigerian oil sector, which is caused by limited infrastructure, security breaches in oil-producing areas, and operational challenges.

Nigeria has also battled monumental oil theft in the Niger Delta area, with pipelines and other oil infrastructure coming under severe attacks by oil thieves.

Experts blame oil theft for low FX earnings

Experts say that Nigeria’s Forex earnings largely depend on increased oil output, especially now that crude oil is nearing $100 per barrel in the international market.

Energy policy analyst and Lead of Platforms Africa, Adeola Yusuf, said the oil theft in the country's oil-producing areas is a significant challenge to Nigeria’s increased Forex earnings.

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“Now is the time for Nigeria to ramp up its oil earnings, but monumental theft and security challenges hamper it in other sectors.
“Currently, crude oil is close to $100 per barrel, and Nigeria stands a chance of earning massively from the windfall to boost its FX earnings, which will help stabilise the local currency,” he said.

Nigeria reports increase in oil production previously reported that the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission announced that Nigeria's oil output increased to N1.64 million barrels daily in January 2024.

Apart from condensates, the output increased to 1.43 million barrels daily compared to the 1.34 million barrels recorded the previous month.

According to reports, in 2023, Africa’s largest oil producer produced an average of about 1.47 million barrels daily, a little below the projected 1.48mbpd.


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