The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission revealed on Sunday that crude oil production in Nigeria increased to 1.235 million barrels per day in December 2022, marking the highest output since March, when the country produced 1.237 mbpd.
Figures obtained from the commission in Abuja showed that oil production increased from 1,185 mbpd in November to 1,235 mbpd in December, indicating that the effort by the federal government and security agencies to curb oil theft is paying off. .
Crude oil production in Nigeria had plunged to a low of 0.937 mbpd in September last year, which was the lowest production recorded in Nigeria in several years.
The drop in oil production was blamed on the activities of pipeline vandals and oil thieves in the Niger Delta, an event that also caused some international companies to leave Nigeria.
Additional figures from NUPRC showed that crude oil production, without blended or unblended condensates, in January, February, March, April, May and June was 1,398 mbpd, 1,257 mbpd, 1,237 mbpd, 1,219 mbpd, 1,024 mbpd and 1,158 mbpd, respectively.
For the months of July, August, September, October, November and December, the oil production figures were 1.08 mbpd, 0.972 mbpd, 0.937 mbpd, 1.014 mbpd, 1.185 mbpd and 1.235 mbpd respectively.
On Thursday, the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), ordered security agencies to crack down on crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta by May 29, 2023, to increase effectively the country’s oil production.
He said that the Federal Government could no longer tolerate criminality.
Buhari gave the directive through Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, while addressing Operation Delta Safe Joint Task Force troops in Effurum, Delta State, and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Sylva was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja by his press assistant, Horatius Egua, as saying: “Mr. The president has given us the mandate to eradicate oil theft. He has ordered that no liter of crude oil be stolen in the entire country, especially in the South-South.
“He wants oil theft to be completely eliminated by May 29, 2023, as one of his government’s legacies. This is the message of the president. We are not where we want to be, but we are happy with what we are seeing.”
Before the Federal Government’s renewed efforts to combat the threat of crude oil thieves, the country’s daily crude oil production was about 900,000 barrels per day.
But with recent improvements in security efforts, there has been an increase in oil production, as production has risen to around 1.5 million barrels per day, according to the statement.
Sylva added: “I am happy to know that morale is high here. We were here a few months ago to hand over the mandate of the president and it is to ensure that there is zero tolerance for the theft of crude oil in the region.”