Nigeria’s exports increased by 29.1 percent sequentially in the third quarter, as the value of crude oil exports rose by 30.9 percent on the quarter, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.
Crude sales accounted for 84.2 percent of Nigeria’s exports in the third quarter, the statistics office said. India and the United States were the first and second-biggest markets for Nigerian crude oil sales, respectively.
Between July and September, the higher value of exports helped to cut part of Nigeria’s trade deficit as Africa’s biggest economy is struggling with oil-dependent export revenues and low oil prices.
According to Reuters, Nigeria’s oil production averaged 1.63 million bpd in the third quarter, down from 1.69 million bpd in the second quarter. OPEC’s secondary sources data put Nigeria’s Q3 production at 1.437 million bpd, down from 1.547 million bpd in Q2.
Between July and September, militant activity in the Niger Delta continued to cripple Nigeria’s oil output. The production figures for this year so far are well below the key assumptions of Nigeria’s budget for 2016, which had underpinned the budget at oil output at 2.2 million bpd and a benchmark oil price at US$38 per barrel. Although the oil prices in the third quarter were higher than those assumed in the budget, output was nowhere near the plans.
Just as Nigeria’s oil production had started to pick up in October, a wave of renewed attacks on the Forcados pipeline – which has the capacity to transport 150,000-200,000 bpd to an export terminal – shut the pipeline again, and dragged Nigeria’s oil output and exports down. The Forcados shut-in is expected to reduce the country’s November and December production from the October figure of 1.628 million bpd, as reported by OPEC’s secondary sources.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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