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Oil industry in Nigeria - statistics & facts

Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956, with production starting in the late 1950s. In the following decade, oil exploration was open to foreign companies and by then, with some exceptions due to economic circumstances, the oil industry grew constantly to become a global giant. In 1977, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) was founded. The aim of the state-owned corporation is to regulate and to participate in the country’s oil business. Nowadays, Nigeria is Africa’s main oil producer. With 18 operating pipelines and an average daily production of some 1.8 million barrels in 2020, Nigeria is the eleventh largest oil producer worldwide. The petroleum industry accounts for about nine percent of Nigeria’s GDP and for almost 90 percent of all export value.

Impact of the pandemic on the oil industry

At the beginning of 2021, the average daily oil production in Nigeria stood at 1.7 million barrels. In 2020, the production decreased due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the subsequent lower demand. According to estimations from April 2020, Nigeria's daily oil production would have reached 2.1 million barrels per day in a scenario without COVID-19. The low demand for oil during the first half of 2020 lead to a sharp fall in prices. The biggest drop in gasoline prices was recorded in April 2020, when the average price decreased by ten percent compared to the previous month. Nevertheless, in 2021 gasoline prices increased again, reaching over 160 Naira per liter. Diesel prices in Nigeria dropped by over two percent in May 2020, this being the most significant monthly drop in 2020. As of the beginning of 2021, the price of diesel in Nigeria was over 220 Naira per liter.

Leading exporter of oil worldwide

Since the early 1970s, Nigeria is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The organization’s members are mainly from the Middle East and Africa, with Venezuela being the only South America member and founder. OPEC has the purpose to unify and coordinate the oil market. Nigeria is the ninth largest oil exporter in the world in terms of value. For the country, this means that about 90 percent of export value is generated by mineral fuels, oils, and distillation products. The main destination areas of crude oil from Nigeria are Europe and Asia. In the second quarter of 2021, the export value of crude oil to Europe amounted to about 1.48 trillion Naira, while exports to Asia followed closely with 1.46 trillion Naira. Eventually, exports of oil products other than crude oil recorded the highest value in the Asian and European marker as well.

American giants in Nigeria

Most of the largest oil companies operating in Nigeria are from the United States and Europe. For instance, the multinational oil and gas producer ExxonMobil produced 150 thousand barrels of liquids per day in Nigeria in 2020. Similarly, the daily crude oil and natural gas liquids production in Nigeria by another American oil giant, Chevron, amounted to 140 thousand barrels in 2020. During the same year, the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell produced almost 49 million barrels in Nigeria. The oil industry value generated by foreign companies represents an important source of income for the Nigerian government. In 2019, the Norwegian company Equinor paid 427 million U.S. dollars to the Nigerian government for extractive activities, of which the largest amount was derived from taxes. However, despite the oil industry being the main source of income in Nigeria, the wealth generated by oil reaches only a small share of the population.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Oil industry in Nigeria" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

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Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Oil industry in Nigeria".

Oil industry in Nigeria

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Oil industry in Nigeria - statistics & facts

Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956, with production starting in the late 1950s. In the following decade, oil exploration was open to foreign companies and by then, with some exceptions due to economic circumstances, the oil industry grew constantly to become a global giant. In 1977, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) was founded. The aim of the state-owned corporation is to regulate and to participate in the country’s oil business. Nowadays, Nigeria is Africa’s main oil producer. With 18 operating pipelines and an average daily production of some 1.8 million barrels in 2020, Nigeria is the eleventh largest oil producer worldwide. The petroleum industry accounts for about nine percent of Nigeria’s GDP and for almost 90 percent of all export value.

Impact of the pandemic on the oil industry

At the beginning of 2021, the average daily oil production in Nigeria stood at 1.7 million barrels. In 2020, the production decreased due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the subsequent lower demand. According to estimations from April 2020, Nigeria's daily oil production would have reached 2.1 million barrels per day in a scenario without COVID-19. The low demand for oil during the first half of 2020 lead to a sharp fall in prices. The biggest drop in gasoline prices was recorded in April 2020, when the average price decreased by ten percent compared to the previous month. Nevertheless, in 2021 gasoline prices increased again, reaching over 160 Naira per liter. Diesel prices in Nigeria dropped by over two percent in May 2020, this being the most significant monthly drop in 2020. As of the beginning of 2021, the price of diesel in Nigeria was over 220 Naira per liter.

Leading exporter of oil worldwide

Since the early 1970s, Nigeria is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The organization’s members are mainly from the Middle East and Africa, with Venezuela being the only South America member and founder. OPEC has the purpose to unify and coordinate the oil market. Nigeria is the ninth largest oil exporter in the world in terms of value. For the country, this means that about 90 percent of export value is generated by mineral fuels, oils, and distillation products. The main destination areas of crude oil from Nigeria are Europe and Asia. In the second quarter of 2021, the export value of crude oil to Europe amounted to about 1.48 trillion Naira, while exports to Asia followed closely with 1.46 trillion Naira. Eventually, exports of oil products other than crude oil recorded the highest value in the Asian and European marker as well.

American giants in Nigeria

Most of the largest oil companies operating in Nigeria are from the United States and Europe. For instance, the multinational oil and gas producer ExxonMobil produced 150 thousand barrels of liquids per day in Nigeria in 2020. Similarly, the daily crude oil and natural gas liquids production in Nigeria by another American oil giant, Chevron, amounted to 140 thousand barrels in 2020. During the same year, the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell produced almost 49 million barrels in Nigeria. The oil industry value generated by foreign companies represents an important source of income for the Nigerian government. In 2019, the Norwegian company Equinor paid 427 million U.S. dollars to the Nigerian government for extractive activities, of which the largest amount was derived from taxes. However, despite the oil industry being the main source of income in Nigeria, the wealth generated by oil reaches only a small share of the population.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Oil industry in Nigeria".

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