Nigeria and Russia accounted for a shortfall of 440,000 barrels per day (bpd) as the crude sup- ply of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies (OPEC+) re- corded its 10 months low in March 2023, according to a current report by Energy Intelligence.
The report spotted by New Telegraph yesterday also stated that OPEC+ re- corded a total production of 37.64 million bpd, which is a decline of 680,000 barrels per day. According to the report, the quantum of the drop by OPEC+ recorded in March was the largest gap between overall quota and actual pro- duction since October 2022.
The report further revealed that Nigeria, Russia and other factors culminated in the total drop of 680,000 bpd experienced in the past 10 months. It specifically opined that the massive decline was aggravated by oil theft, pipe- line vandalism, and illegal refining in Nigeria as well as the Russian – Ukraine war, which led to the ban of Russian oil by the United States, United Kingdom and European Union. It stated: “Crude oil out- put in March by OPEC-plus members taking part in the production agreement saw its steepest fall in 10 months, or 680,000 b/d, to 37.64 million b/d, according to Energy Intelligence’s assessment. “March production was 2.5 million b/d short of the alliance’s target for the month, the largest shortfall since October.”
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Com- mission (NUPRC) on the latest crude oil production status had stated that Nigeria’s crude oil production growth declined by 2.95 per cent month-on-month, in March 2023, to 1,268,202 barrels per day (bpd) from 1,306,304 bpd recorded in February.
This means that Nigeria’s crude oil supply level crashed to below 1.3mpd mark after a six-month consistent crude oil production increase. The production decrease has been seen as a setback to Nigeria’s prospect of reaching 1.69mbpd, which is the 2023 budget crude oil pro- duction target. The decrease reduced the country’s quest to meet its OPEC production quota of 1.8 million bpd. Some analysts had attributed the decline to many factors, including the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as those of March 18 Governorship and States’ Houses of Assembly polls. Another factor is shut-in that happened in March, a sequel to an ex- plosion on a section of the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) in Rivers State, which is Ru- muekpe-Nkpoku trunk line, owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited.