Libya has emerged as the highest crude oil producer in Africa following the drop of Nigeria’s output by 6.8 per cent to 1.23 million barrels per day in March 2024, from 1.32 bpd in February 2024.

On the other hand, Libya’s oil output rose by 5.4 per cent to 1.236 million bpd in March 2024, from 1.173 million bpd in February 2024, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

OPEC, a permanent intergovernmental organisation of 12 oil-exporting developing nations that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its Member Countries, disclosed this in its April 2024 Monthly Oil Market Report, MOMR, obtained by Vanguard, said the output was based on data it obtained from official sources in Nigeria.

Based on secondary sources, OPEC stated that Nigeria retained its leadership position on the continent as it produced 1.398 million bpd while Libya produced 1.161 million bpd during the period.

However, OPEC stated: “According to secondary sources, total OPEC-12 crude oil production averaged 26.60 mb/d in March 2024.

“According to secondary sources, total OPEC-12 crude oil production averaged 26.60 mb/d in March 2024, 3 tb/d higher, m-o-m. Crude oil output increased mainly in IR Iran, Saudi Arabia, Gabon, and Kuwait, while production in Nigeria, Iraq, and Venezuela decreased.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has expressed concerns over the capacity of the industry to meet its domestic crude obligations to local refineries, insisting that supply to local refineries remain a priority.

Speaking at a meeting to review Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation as contained under Section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA 2021, the Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, insisted that priority must be given to crude supply to local refineries.

Komolafe pointed out that the overall objective of the government was to ensure that Nigeria became a net exporter of refined petroleum products.