Crude oil, also known as “black gold,” was discovered for the first time in Nigeria by Shell D’Arcy Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in 1956 in Oloibiri, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State, a Niger-Delta State located in the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Bayelsa State also ranks as one of the top oil-producing states in the nation and one of the richest states in Nigeria at the present time.
Shell had previously started drilling operations in the Niger-Delta beginning in 1951, with the first test well dug in Owerri, before oil was discovered in Oloibiri in 1956. But in 1953, crude oil was uncommercially discovered at Akata, close to Eket, Akwa Ibom State. After investing millions of pounds in oil exploration, Shell made a breakthrough when commercial quantities of crude oil were discovered in Oloibiri. This discovery paved the way for numerous subsequent discoveries of commercial quantities of crude oil in the Niger-Delta region up till the present.
Till other oil firms started to emerge and were subsequently granted onshore and offshore petroleum exploratory rights from 1960 till the present, Shell-BP was the exclusive concessionaire for oil exploration in Nigeria. According to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, there are currently 1481 oil wells and 159 oil fields operating in Nigeria. The Niger-Delta is home to 78 oil fields, making it the region with the most prolific oil fields.
When Shell discovered the EA oil field in the shallow waters to the southeast of Warri in Delta State in 1965, the corporation made significant progress. Following the Nigerian Civil War in 1970, the oil boom led to an increase in oil prices, which heralded an era of prosperity in Nigeria. Nigeria joined OPEC as a result of her newly discovered wealth, and in 1977 she founded the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), now NNPC Limited, a state-owned oil company to actively participate in the nation’s upstream and downstream petroleum sectors.
Current List Of States With Oil Wells In Nigeria
Nigeria presently produces 1.67 million barrels of crude oil per day, making her the largest crude oil producer in Africa, according to the NNPC. With that said, let’s look at the top Nigerian regions where crude oil may be found in large quantities. The top places for crude oil in Nigeria currently are listed below in alphabetical order:
1. Delta State
With a total output of 346,000 barrels per day, Delta State, often known as The Big Heart because to its catchphrase, is currently Nigeria’s second-largest producer of crude oil and natural gas. Like Bayelsa, Delta State is home to some of the nation’s greatest reserves of natural gas and crude oil. Other abundant natural mineral resources in Delta State include limestone, ornamental rocks, tar sand, kaolin, lignite, silica, and industrial clay.
2. Rivers State
The last significant crude oil producing state in Nigeria today is Rivers State. The State’s daily crude oil production is estimated to be 344,000 barrels, and Port Harcourt, the state’s capital, is home to major domestic and international oil businesses. To name a few of these businesses, there are Shell Petroleum Development Company, Chevron, and Total Nigeria.
3. Bayelsa State
Given the vast crude oil and natural gas deposits that are located in the State, Bayelsa State also ranks as one of the top crude oil-producing regions in Nigeria today. It is currently one of the wealthiest states in Nigeria.
4. Abia State
Abia State currently has more than 100 oil wells and three installed flow stations, and as of 2012, the Boundary Commission announced that 42 oil wells had been transferred from Rivers State to Abia State, making Abia the fourth-largest producer of crude oil in Nigeria. About 36,000 barrels of crude oil are produced daily in Abia State; 23,000 barrels are produced at Imoturu and approximately 9,000 barrels are produced at the Isimili Flow Station. Shell now holds the majority of oil well permits in Abia State, and the corporation aspires to own up to 50 wells there in the near future.
5. Akwa Ibom State
At over 500,000 barrels per day, Akwa Ibom State currently produces more crude oil than any other state in Nigeria.
6. Edo State
With a total output of 33,000 barrels per day, Edo State is currently Nigeria’s seventh-largest producer of both oil and gas. The State is a part of the Niger-Delta area and is situated in Nigeria’s south-south geopolitical zone.
7. Imo State
Imo State is currently one of Nigeria’s oil-producing states, with over 163 oil wells spread across more than 12 different areas. Addax Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, and Agip are just a few of the petroleum firms that operate in the State.
8. Lagos State
Lagos State now ranks sixth in terms of crude oil output in Nigeria, with a daily production rate of around 40,000 barrels. Lagos State is the newest entry to the list of Nigerian States with the highest oil production, thanks to the Federal Government’s approval of four of the state’s five oil-producing Aje wells in 2016. Lagos State, on the other hand, does not entirely rely on crude oil for its domestic earnings.