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Nigeria has upstaged Angola as the top oil and gas producer in Africa, with an increased output of 91,500 barrels per day (bpd) in February 2018. Angola, which is Nigeria’s rival in terms of crude oil production in sub-Saharan Africa, surpassed Nigeria with over 200,000 bpd since 2016 due to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta, which led to drastic drop in the country’s output. For instance, while Nigeria’s crude oil output in second quarter of 2017 stood at 1.485 million barrels per day, Angola’s production was 1.635 million barrels per day.

Angola upstaged Nigeria with 1.668 million barrels per day in the third quarter of 2017, while Nigeria’s output was 1.572 million barrels per day. But Nigeria began to surpass Angola in crude oil production from December 2017 with an output of 1.569 million bpd.

For example, while Angola produced 1.548 million bpd in December 2017; 1.562 mbpd in January; and 1.498 mbpd in February, Nigeria’s oil output was far higher with 1.569mbpd in December, 1.641mbpd in January and 1.732mbpd in February.

According to secondary sources, total OPEC-14 crude oil production averaged 32.19 mbpd in February, a decrease of 77 thousand barrels per day over the previous month. While production mainly decreased in Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iraq, this was partially offset by higher production in Nigeria and Angola.

The Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that the Federal Government is targeting three million barrels per day of crude oil. The Minister also said that for Nigeria to begin production of crude oil in a new oil field, it would cost the country about $10 billion per year for over three years.

Kachikwu’s revelation on spending $10 billion yearly on developing a new oil field comes on the heels of the clamor that the country has not developed any new oil fields in the past 15 years.

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