The Organisation for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may consider reducing the oil production quota of Nigeria and some other African producers failing to meet their current output cuts, the African Energy Chamber fears.
The price of crude oil hit $88 a barrel this week and countries like Nigeria, Libya and Angola should be capitalizing this to earn more, but they continue to significantly underperform.
Nigeria, for example, with over 36 billion barrels of oil in place, has the potential to produce upwards of 2 million barrels per day but during December 2021, the country could only produce 1.1 million barrels per day – resulting in an estimated 2.4-million-barrel loss for the month.
Similarly, despite production targets of 1.8 million barrels per day by 2022, during December 2021 Libya also underperformed, producing on average 1.06 million barrels per day.
However, this was largely attributed to blockades at key oilfields due to political conflict, and the country’s production is starting to increase again.
Underperformance in Africa could impact production quota says the Chamber’s Board Executive, Mr Abdur Rasheed Omidiya, adding that, “Continuous inability to meet OPEC production quota means OPEC may at some point review down the African countries quota and source increase in other member countries which will directly impact the economy as crude oil sales made up to one-third of some government budget revenue and 90 per cent of export earnings.”
These production trends, if continued, will have significant impacts on refineries, as well as domestic energy supply, in Africa.
Mr Omidiya described the current situation as a “double-edged sword, as the shortfalls may impact crude supply with the current increase in demand pushing the crude price higher.
“This is good and bad news for a country like Nigeria, which should ordinarily earn more foreign exchange from the sale of crude, but now has to deal with paying more subsidy since there’s a positive relationship between the international prices of the commodity and how much Nigerians get the product at the pump.”
He noted that the need for accelerated investment in Africa has never been more prominent, “The struggle to increase production is due to years of underinvestment in the upstream oil and gas sector with ageing infrastructure magnified by the recent pandemic and called for no new investment in fossil fuels.
“The government and oil and gas operators need to find a new way of stimulating investors’ confidence and appetite with 3C’s: Certainty and Consistency in policies and regulatory law and Competitive in business friendliness,” Mr Omidiya stated.