Nigeria’s Functional Oil Drilling Rigs Rise to 16 – OPEC

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Data from the latest March 2024 Monthly Oil Market Report released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reveals that the number of operational oil drilling rigs in the country rose slightly to 16 in February.

The country's oil rigs increased from 15 in January to 16 in February, according to figures released by OPEC, a development considered significant by industry operators for crude production.

OPEC data indicated that the country ran an average of 13, 16, and 14 oil rigs in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2023.

Oil rigs are large structures with facilities to extract and process petroleum and natural gas that lie in rock formations beneath the seabed.

Nigeria, being an oil and gas-rich nation, extracts crude oil daily from onshore and offshore sources for export, with over 80 percent of its foreign exchange coming from oil; hence, the number of operational oil drilling rigs throughout the country is crucial.

In 2021, the international oil cartel unveiled that Nigeria had the lowest oil rig count, with only an average of seven rigs in operation.

By 2022, the average number of rigs had risen to 10, and by 2023, it had increased to an average of 14 rigs.

In a presentation obtained in Abuja, Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, revealed that the country’s oil drilling rigs had surged by more than 270% in the past three years.

According to him, this has also affected the country's oil output recently, with Nigeria approaching the oil production quota approved by OPEC.

While speaking about what he referred to as a "success story" in Nigeria's oil sector, he revealed that a total of 51 Field Development Plans were approved in the year 2022-2023.”

He also mentioned that a total investment inflow of $17.64bn is expected, along with estimated cumulative oil recovery of 2.12 billion barrels and gas recovery of 13.13 trillion cubic feet in the next five years. Additionally, an investment of about $2.5bn is expected in drilling 175 wells in the year 2022 – 2023.

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