The prices of crude oil hit its highest point in 2016 on Wednesday, trading a few cents above the previous 2016 high of $46 per barrel and inching closer to $50 on the global market.
As at 3pm Nigerian time, Brent crude, the global benchmark for crude oil, was trading at $46.73 – less than $4 away from the $50 mark – while the west Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose by 92 cents to trade at $44.96 per barrel.
According to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) secretariat, the OPEC basket price for crude oil rose by 48 cents from $39.40 to $39.88 per barrel
The rise is crude oil prices has been attributed to a cut in global oversupply, with a major part of the reduction coming from Nigeria, which has become the second largest exporter in Africa, after Angola.
According to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) released in March, Nigeria’s oil production fell by about an average of 100,000 barrel per day and is responsible for the fall in OPEC production levels.
“According to secondary sources, total OPEC crude oil production in February averaged 32.38 mb/d, – a decrease of 175 tb/d over the previous month,” the report read.
“Crude oil output decreased mostly from Iraq, Nigeria and UAE, while production increased in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”
According to secondary sources highlighted by OPEC, Nigeria’s production levels fell by 94,200 barrels per day to a daily production of 1.754 million barrels.
The figures are said to have fallen to as low as 1.6 million barrels per day, following incessant pipelines vandalism in the country.