By Miriam Malek
LONDON—Nigerian crude oil production has dropped to its lowest monthly level since records began in April 2015, according to data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Output stood at 57.43 million barrels for March, or just over 1.8 million barrels a day, according to NNPC’s monthly review.
The production figure is down more than 3% from the over 2 million barrels a day recorded in the previous month. Angola has now overtaken Nigeria as the continent’s largest crude exporter.
Production was driven lower by vandalism on crude pipelines, with around 380,000 barrels per day of production hit from Feb. 15 following an attack on a sub-sea export pipeline. This led to the deferral of all March oil export cargoes.
Last week, ahead of a meeting between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said that NNPC had met with militants to try and resolve the situation.
Meanwhile, Nigeria continues to battle with fuel scarcity issues. Vandalism has affected power supply in the country as the Forcados gas pipeline remains out of action, limiting electricity generation. Mr. Kachikwu has said he expects Forcados to return on-stream at the end of August.
The lack of supply from Nigeria has helped push oil prices well-above $50 a barrel in the past week for both the global benchmark, Brent, and its U.S. counterpart, West Texas Intermediate.
Write to Miriam Malek at [email protected]
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