The nation’s production of crude oil, including condensate, rose to 2.16 million barrels per day last month, the highest level so far this year, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has said. Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer with a maximum production capacity of 2.5 million bpd, had before now suffered declines in output largely on the back of security concerns in the Niger Delta.

The latest data obtained by our correspondent from the petroleum ministry showed that oil production in the country stood at 2.145 million bpd in August, up from 1.968 million bpd in July; 1.896 million bpd in June and 1.826 million in May.

The country produced 2.069 million bpd in April, 2.022 million bpd in March, 2.105 in February, and 2.070 million bpd in January, according to the ministry. Nigerian crude oil has been under pressure from the persistent overhang of unsold cargoes, although this surplus could soon clear, given demand from Turkish and Asian refiners, according to Reuters.

At the last count, there were around 25 Nigerian oil cargoes left for sale from the October and November programmes, marking very little change over the last week. India was said to have imported 336,500 bpd of Nigerian crude in September, 20.7 per cent more than in August, according to data from industry and shipping sources.

But highlighting the challenge to light, sweet West African crudes from the United States’ oil, Indian imports in September this year were nearly 40 per cent lower than those in September last year. According to International Energy Agency, both global oil demand and supply are now close to new, historically significant peaks at 100 million bpd and neither shows signs of ceasing to grow any time soon.

The IEA, in a new report on Friday, noted that production had surged, led by the US shale revolution, and supported by big increases in Brazil, Canada and elsewhere. “In future, a lot of potential supply could come to the market from places such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela, if their various challenges can be overcome. There is no peak in sight for demand either,” it said.

The agency said the drivers of demand remained very powerful, with petrochemicals being a major factor.





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