Nigeria’s crude oil output declined to a six-month low of 1.96 million barrels per day, mbd, according to the International Energy Agency, IEA.
This means that the country is already losing about 600,000 barrels of its daily production benchmark of 2.567mbd in the 2013 budget.
The agency attributed the decline to oil theft and pipeline vandalism which had bedeviled the industry for a long time.
The IEA report gives credence to the recent statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which said that 53 break points were discovered along the 97km Nembe Creek Trunk line.
“This will further reduce our April and May monthly average to about 2.2mbpd and further decrease crude oil revenue by about $554 million (N83 billion) that should have accrued to the Federation Account,” the corporation said.
“We shall continue to work with relevant government agencies both at the federal and state levels; to end this incessant crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. We have the potential to meet the national target of 2.48mbpd if this menace is eliminated,” it added.
However, other oil producing nations among the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC fold fared much better.
According to the IEA, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer led the production gainers, with output jumping by 220,000 bd to a six-month high level of 9.56 mbd, which was attributed to a seasonal increase for domestic use to meet peak air-conditioning needs.
Despite international sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme, Iran’s output edged up 30,000 bd to 2.68 mbd in May.
The IEA estimated that imports of Iranian crude jumped to 1.39 mbd in May from 835 in April, which was mostly due to congestion at Chinese ports at the end of April delaying deliveries until May.
Another country that recorded increase in production is Kuwait. Its production edged up to 2.84 mbd. Angolan production edged up to 1.78 mbd, with several fields expected to increase output to peak capacity within the next year and other fields to come on line. Also, the United Arab Emirates, UAE, edged up its output to 2.73 mbd, while Qatar’s was unchanged at 725,000 bd.