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•As Angola beats Nigeria to emerge highest producer in Africa

By Udeme Akpan, Energy Editor

THERE were indications, yesterday, that oil exploration has increased in Nigeria as the nation’s rig count, rose year-on-year, YoY, by 120 per cent to 11 in June 2022, from five recorded in the corresponding period of 2021, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

The rig count is a major index of measuring exploration and production activities in the global oil and gas industry.

However, on month-on-month, MoM, the nation’s rig count remained flat when compared to 11 recorded in the preceding month of May 2022.

The July 2022 Monthly Oil Market Report, MOMR, of OPEC obtained by Vanguard further indicated that while Algeria emerged the highest African oil producing nation with 33 rigs, Libya became the least with only two.

In terms of oil production, the report puts Nigeria’s output, excluding condensate at 1.16 million barrels per day, mbpd, in June 2022, indicating a 7.6 per cent drop compared to 1.3 mbpd recorded in the corresponding period of 2021. According to the report, Angola emerged the highest crude oil producing country in Africa with 1.18 million bpd while Equatorial Guinea came last with 91,000 bpd. The report did not provide reasons for Nigeria’s low oil production, but industry operators have attributed the poor performance to increased pipeline vandalism, oil theft and illegal refining in the Niger Delta.

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