By Udeme Akpan
Nigeria’s crude oil production stood at 2.022 million, bpd in March, 277,000 bpd below the 2.3 million bpd benchmark for budget 2018, indicating, the country is still struggling to step up production to meet the budget benchmark.
Data obtained by Vanguard from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, showed that the production figure for March includes condensate which the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC does not usually recognise as part of its members output.
At the current price of $72 per barrel in the international market, the 277,000 amounted to about $19.9 million.
But a source in the ministry who preferred not to be named because he was not permitted to speak described the development as ‘’impressive, a development which justifies the efforts of the government to achieve sustainable peace and stability in the region.”
He said that: “The government stands to generate more funds from the production and export of crude oil as OPEC has predicted that the market would continue to stabilise in the coming months, he added.
In its latest market report, OPEC stated that: “The global GDP growth forecast remains at 3.8 per cent for both 2017 and 2018. Expected US growth in 2018 is unchanged from the previous month at 2.7 per cent, after growth of 2.3 per cent in 2017. Growth in the Euro-zone was revised up to 2.3 per cent in 2018, following growth of 2.5 per cent in 2017.
‘’Japan’s 2018 growth forecast remains at 1.5 per cent, after actual growth of 1.7 per cent in 2017. India’s and China’s 2018 GDP growth forecasts remain unchanged at 7.2 per cent and 6.5 per cent, respectively, following 2017 GDP growth of 6.3 per cent and 6.9 per cent.
‘’Similarly, world oil demand growth in 2018 was revised higher by 30 tb/d, compared to last month’s report, to now stand at 1.63 mb/d. This mainly reflects the positive momentum in the OECD in the Q1’18 on the back of better-than-expected data, and supported by development in industrial activities, colder than-anticipated weather and strong mining activities in the OECD Americas and the OECD Asia Pacific.”
The increased output is also expected to be fuelled by the current relative peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta.
A compilation of data obtained by Vanguard from Shell, a leading IOC, with over 500,000 barrels per day, bpd output indicated that the company recorded only one case of oil spill in March 13, 2018.
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