Angola on way to becoming Africa’s top oil producer

15 July 2013

Angola may become Africa’s top oil producer as soon as 2014, overtaking Nigeria due to that country’s internal problems, states the Energy Aspects consultancy, cited by the British newspaper Financial Times.

According to Energy Aspects’ head oil market analyst Amrita Sen, “Angolan production has been slowly rising due to new operations, while Nigeria’s production has fallen due to oil theft and supply disruptions. This has caused Nigerian production to fall from 2.2 million barrels per day in 2012 to less than 1.9 million at present.”

Figures from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) indicate that Angola has already overtaken Nigerian production, namely in May, when Nigeria produced 1.676 million barrels per day and Angola 1.730 million.

“Angola may dethrone Nigeria’s leadership in the near future if the Nigerian situation doesn’t improve. The reason isn’t necessarily because Angola will significantly increase production – recent figures are actually somewhat disappointing – but rather because Nigerian production is falling,” Sen said, adding that Angola did not currently have capacity to produce more than Nigeria.

One of the main reasons for Nigeria’s production decline is theft. The authorities estimate that an annual revenue shortfall of about US$6 billion is caused by fires, explosions and environmental damage after thieves hole pipelines to steal oil for later resale.

Angolan Petroleum Minister José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said last week that Angola’s production should reach 2 million barrels per day next year or in 2015 at most, versus the current average of 1.750 million barrels per day. (macauhub)