By Prince Okafor
Nigeria’s rig count — a standard yardstick used in measuring a nation’s activeness in exploration and production of crude oil and gas — for the month of October, 2018 increased to 34 from 33 recorded in the previous month, data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, have showed.
But despite the additional rig count, Nigeria’s crude oil production witnessed a decline in October, 2018 to 1.75 Million Barrel per day, mb/d from 1.77mb/d recorded in the preceding month.
This is coming at a time the 15-member OPEC recorded plus 10 in its October rig count, as it had 568 against 558 recorded in September, 2018.
The latest data obtained by Vanguard Newspaper showed that while seven OPEC members – Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, and Qatar -had retained their rig count figures, Algeria recorded a minus three, the only decliner among the OPEC members.
However, the new statistics showed that Saudi Arabia, had the highest increase of six followed by Venezuela, and United Arab Emirate, UAE, that recorded increases of two respectively. Gabon and Iraq joined Nigeria in recording just one additional rig count during the period.
OPEC stated in its latest market report that: “The total OPEC-15 preliminary crude oil production averaged 32.90 mb/d in October, an increase of 127 tb/d over the previous month. Crude oil output increased mostly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Angola, while production declined in IR Iran, Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria.”
The report further stated: “Demand for OPEC crude in 2018 is estimated at 32.6 mb/d, 0.9 mb/d lower than the 2017 level. In 2019, demand for OPEC crude is forecast at 31.5 mb/d, around 1.1 mb/d lower than the estimate 2018 level.
“In 2018, oil demand growth is anticipated to increase by 1.50 mb/d year on year, a downward revision from the previous month of 40 tb/d, mainly due to weaker-than-expected oil demand data from the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, China during third quarter of the year.
“Expected total oil demand for the year is anticipated to reach 98.79 mb/d. In 2019, world oil demand growth is forecast to grow by 1.29 mb/d year on year, about 70 tb/d lower than last month’s projection, with total world consumption to reach 100.08 mb/d. “The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, region will contribute positively to oil demand growth, increasing by 0.25 mb/d year on year, while the non-OECD region is assumed to see larger growth by 1.04 mb/d in 2019.”