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Libya Beats Nigeria, Becomes Africa’s Biggest Oil Producer



Senate To Stop Exportation Of Crude Oil By Foreign Companies

New data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows that Libya has become the leading African producer of crude oil.

The report, released in April 2024, reveals that Libya pumped out 1.24 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, a significant increase from the previous month’s 1.17 million bpd, News About Nigeria reports.

However, Nigeria, which held the top spot previously, saw a decline in production. In March, Nigeria produced 1.23 million bpd, down from February’s 1.32 million bpd. This marks Nigeria’s lowest output since July 2023.

The drop of nearly 91,000 barrels per day clearly exposes the challenges facing Nigeria’s oil sector, including infrastructure limitations, security issues in oil-producing regions, and operational difficulties.

Experts attribute much of these challenges to widespread oil theft from pipelines and wells, which has negatively impacted the nation’s finances.

Jide Pratt, a country manager at Trade Grid and energy analyst, expressed concern over Nigeria’s inability to curb oil theft and optimize production. He questioned why Nigeria hasn’t emulated countries like Gabon, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait in boosting production.

“We aren’t curbing oil theft nor are we taking or making quick wins at our Wells that need to be boosted or optimised,” Pratt said.

In response to the rampant theft, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) in March sought the assistance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In August 2022, NNPC Ltd introduced an app to track theft and vandalism. Additionally, they granted a multibillion naira pipeline surveillance and procurement contract to Government Ekpemupolo, a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta. Despite these efforts, Nigeria still faces substantial oil losses to vandals. This led to the transitioning of many international oil firms from onshore to offshore operations.

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