Nigeria will raise its crude oil production to 1.8 million bpd in 2019 from around 1.6 million bpd currently, the head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) told Reuters on Tuesday.
The African OPEC member also aims to increase its production of condensate—a type of ultra light oil—to 500,000 bpd next year from 400,000 bpd now, NNPC Group Managing Director Maikanti Baru said.
The Nigerian state-controlled oil company also expects to sign this month agreements with various consortia to help it overhaul the old and inefficient oil refineries in the country, Baru told Reuters.
Following a wave of militant violence in 2016 and early 2017, Nigeria’s oil production started to recover in the latter half of 2017, when attacks on oil infrastructure subsided.
This year, after some hiccups and pipeline outages during the spring and early summer, Nigeria’s crude oil production was on the rise in August and September.
Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate production, however, dropped in October to 2.09 million bpd, oil ministry data showed last week, with output down by some 70,000 bpd compared to September, due to increased sabotage attacks on oil infrastructure by oil thieves.
The NNPC warned earlier this month that sabotage attacks on oil pipelines were on the rise, while analysts also warn that violence may return in Nigeria’s oil industry ahead of the general elections in February.
According to OPEC’s November Monthly Oil Market Report published on Tuesday, Nigeria’s crude oil production dropped by 17,000 bpd from September to stand at 1.751 million bpd in October.
Nigeria’s Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu is optimistic about Nigeria’s plans to lift production and expects relative stability in the oil industry ahead of and during the February elections. Nigerian crude and condensate production is expected to rise to 2.2 million bpd by early next year, thanks to the imminent start-up of the Total-operated Egina oil field, Kachikwu told S&P Global Platts in an interview last week.