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Libya displaces Nigeria as largest crude oil producer in Africa – OPEC

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Libya displaced Nigeria, the largest producer of crude oil in Africa, in March.

This is according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’s monthly March oil report released Thursday.

The report said Libya produced an average higher figure of 1.236 million barrels per day, but Nigeria’s production dropped to 1.23 million bpd, representing a differential of 5,000 barrels.

According to OPEC, Nigeria’s crude production figure in March represents a 92,000 barrel drop from the 1.32 million daily production in February 2024.

However, according to secondary sources, OPEC said the country’s crude oil production for March stood at 1.39 million barrels daily, marking a decline of 38,000 daily from 1.43 million barrels.

The country’s crude oil production in March was the lowest this year, falling below the benchmark crude oil production of 1.78 million barrels daily in the 2024 budget.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia maintained its position as the biggest oil producer among OPEC member countries, with an average daily production of 8.97 million bpd- a drop of 39,000 barrels. Iraq followed the Kingdom with 3.9 million bpd and the United Arab Emirates with 2.91 million barrels daily.

In March, the value of the OPEC Reference Basket (ORB) rose by $2.99, or 3.7 per cent month-on-month, reaching an average of $84.22 per barrel. Similarly, oil futures prices also saw an increase.

The front-month contract for ICE Brent increased by $2.95, or 3.6 per cent month-on-month, to $84.67 per barrel, while the front-month contract for NYMEX WTI climbed by $3.80, or 5.0 per cent month-on-month, averaging $80.41 per barrel.

Following the cartel’s decision to leave the production quota unchanged, oil prices jumped to around $90 per barrel for Brent crude.

Similarly, Nigeria’s Bonny light crude surged to $87.86 per barrel in March 2024 from $85.65 in February.