By Tunde Osho (with agency reports)
Nigeria’s oil output increased by 167,000 barrels per day (b/d) or 10.6 percent to 1.736 million barrel per day (mb/d) in the month of January 2018.
The output was 1.569mb/d in December 2017, according to data from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Monthly Oil Market Reports, MOMR.
The country’s oil production had dropped by 22,000 barrels per day in December 2017 against the November figure.
OPEC had asked Nigeria to cap production at 1.8 mb/d and upon hitting the prescribed output level the country would join the OPEC production cut agreement.
Nigeria had reached between 2.2 and 2.6 mb/d in the past before militancy in the Niger Delta in 2016 forced output below 1.2 mb/d.
Nigeria alongside Libya, have been exempted twice from OPEC’s oil output cutback agreement which kicked off in January 2017.
Nigeria’s exemption was due to disruption in oil production caused by spates of attacks on oil installations by militants in the Niger Delta.
Both Saudi Arabia and Russia currently shoulder the highest cut since the start of the deal which has seen oil prices rise to $70 per barrel.
OPEC and its partners agreed to cut a combined 1.8mbp/d of production in November 2016.
The agreement had been extended twice until the end of 2018. However, OPEC is looking at extending the deal beyond this year.
It will also be recalled that crude oil prices were last week close to their lowest levels this year with soaring United States, output undermining OPEC’s efforts to tighten markets and prop up prices.